“Loneliness does not come from having no people around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that are important to you.” – Carl Jung
As a species we need to know that we matter. That we are seen, heard and understood. We want people around us that get us, that make us feel like there is a place where we are welcome and where we fit. We need connection. When these things are absent from our lives we tend to feel disconnected, hollow, uncomfortable, sad, insecure – lonely.
Loneliness isn’t just the absence of people, it’s the absence of a real connection to another. But sometimes we seek isolation (both emotional and physical) as a means of self-defense. Being alone keeps us safe from the pains of the outside world. If one has been hurt often enough, the safety of having no one around, that can hurt you, can seem very appealing.
Battling the loneliness that comes after a break-up with an emotional manipulator can be sheer agony. The pain is exponentially greater than any other type of break up because it’s not just about the rejection. Narcissists make their victims feel powerless and dependent. They get you addicted to their brand of “love” and then keep threatening to take it away. They create the illusion of a deep connection. It’s one of their hooks. But in reality the sharing and the communicating and the finding comfort in sameness, is really nothing more than a reconnaissance mission, to find out all about what buttons to push and what your weakness are, to create that power differential they need for control.
When we are finally faced with the rejection they’ve been holding over our heads, we feel utterly lost. The connection we thought we had is gone and we have never felt an emptiness quite like what we are feeling now. Understand that what you are experiencing isn’t real loneliness. It’s dependence. Any drug dealer will tell you that once you have someone under the spell of a drug – that the addiction creates power for the supplier (I got what you need and you better play by my rules or else) – the dependence creates servitude (I’ll do whatever you want, just don’t take away my fix).
So you’re not just feeling the sting of rejection, you’re feeling the withdrawal of your drug of choice (your Narcissist). You’re also feeling the shame and humiliation that comes from knowing you allowed someone to treat you so badly, yet you can’t stop wanting them to come back.
When a codependent has been through this break up cycle a few times, they hopefully start to notice that there is something wrong with the relationship they are having with themselves. They start to see that their thinking is flawed and they don’t have proper boundaries when it comes to social interactions. They stop trusting themselves and other people. They start to seek isolation because it’s a safer alternative.
When people have been made to feel uncomfortable in their own skin, when they have been told they are inferior, when they have no idea what normal social interaction is supposed to look like, and they don’t have a strong concept of social boundaries, they feel like outsiders or pretenders. They want to be close, but they’ve become conditioned to fear outsiders in the same way an abused animal fears human contact.
Isolation and the Rat Park Theory
Isolation is an important tool for a manipulator. If they can weaken any meaningful connection you have with someone else, the more control they have and the less support and resources their victims have. When you are going through this without any support it keeps you dependent longer. It keeps you ripe for another harvest from your abuser, should they choose to do so.
Like the rats in the rat park experiments that I’ve referred to in previous blogs, addiction occurs when people, or animals, are placed in an environment that produces social and cultural isolation. The addiction I’m referring to here is Narcissist addiction, though you do find many codependents that self-medicate with alcohol or narcotics. We become addicted to Narcissists when the opportunity for normal social relationships is taken away.
I often bounce ideas off of the people closest to me when I’m researching a blog topic and I was thinking of a young colleague that I have a great affection for when I thought of the concept of loneliness. I thought of him because he’s popular and always has something going on. His personality is bigger than any room he enters. He is extremely outgoing, has close family ties and people are instantly drawn to his fun-loving nature. He has a ton of friends and is never without female companionship.
“Do you ever feel lonely?” I asked him.
“Nope, never,” he laughed. “I’ve always got something going on. If I want to go out, or go somewhere I just call up a buddy. If I want to meet a girl I just go out and meet a girl.”
“It’s just that simple huh?” I inquired.
“It’s that simple,” he said. “Sometimes I want to be alone. I like those times too, but I know if ever I need something or I want to do something I always have a lot of options.”
I knew what his answer would be before I asked him. He’s a young, confident, rascal, unburdened with generations of emotional baggage, but his answer was right on the mark.
Having strong, healthy, social ties cultivates healthier choices and more options. This is the area in which addiction research seems to be trending. Addiction, they are starting to believe, isn’t really about the substance, or in this case the Narcissist, – addiction occurs because of a poverty of the spirit, if you will, an unhealthy relationship with the self, a lack of other healthy social ties and alternatives.
If we can create a loving and enriching environment for ourselves, where we feel seen, heard and understood, where we have support and trust and love, the pull back towards toxic relationships would not have the same influence and it would be much easier to leave behind.
Sav’s Other Tips to Combat Loneliness:
Feel your feelings: Let them out. Don’t numb them or distract yourself. Get close to them and you will realize that you are stronger than this hurt. That it can’t defeat you.
Keep moving in the right direction: Make goals and plans for yourself and keep taking steps towards those goals. Have you ever noticed how much better you feel about yourself and your life when you are on track. Get on track and keep moving.
Trust yourself: There isn’t a secret that healthy people know that you don’t know. We learn by example and by trial and error. Put yourself out there. Do what makes you feel uncomfortable. Something is only difficult the first time. Comfort comes through repetition.
Social awkwardness comes from the relationship you have with yourself: Other people usually don’t see the same you that you see. Your discomfort doesn’t come from not fitting in. it comes from your perception that you don’t fit in. Work on changing your perception.
Stop fearing the potential rejection/humiliation and interact: Worst case scenario is they think you’re weird and you don’t make a connection. Best case scenario you make a new friend.
Get comfortable being alone: Learn how to enjoy your own company. Develop a friendship with yourself. Get to know you. Who are you? What do you like? What makes you happy?
Your validation is an inside job: Your partner does not define you. You define you. Being alone doesn’t render you unlovable or unwanted – being with a loser does that.
Create your environment the way you want it: The power to do this is in all of us. Find your power and make your life exactly the way you want it.
Never stop growing and learning: There is no better time for self-improvement than after a break-up. Spend your time wisely by making you better.
Become dissatisfied with the way things are: The late author, Napoleon Hill coined the term inspirational dissatisfaction. When you become so disgusted with your current situation, that it becomes the driving force that pushes you to make you and your circumstances better.
Go easy with social media: It gives the illusion of connection but in reality it fosters more and more isolation. Physically get out and interact with people. Relationships that exist solely online are not real relationships.
Know that this feeling of loneliness is temporary: This too shall pass. Battle through it, make changes, be better.
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I think this is a wonderful site, and extreme beneficial to everyone in this situation. god bless you all. we all have to stand our ground so to speak and not falter.
This is my first comment, I just found out about this miracle of blog you did Savannah, I read almost through most of the stuff that were addressing my problem, and to tell you the truth, I plan on doing a pamphlet/small book or something on co-dependency and emotional parasites, etc., collect and translate it for people here in my city here in Eastern Europe, Balkans. I am amazed how hard it is to find out about such a common all around problem of our social lives, like no one talks or even knows about this issues. Like we suppose to go through our lives and to never know why these patterns were occurring over and over, like this society is sponsoring imprisonment for a healthier consumerism.
I want to tank you Savannah for sharing your journey in such a clear, concuss and professional manner, and to everyone being brave and supportive to share their stories and views.
My story in short is: I come from a neglected childhood with parents who were not really there for me and mostly raised by a narcissist grand mother who was ruing my parents lives while I had to watch. My grand dad dies early in his days exhausted from my grandmother’s grip, only to catch on to others who were left to eat them alive. At one point she went crazy and wanted to give the house were we were living to her daughter that already was given a place to live, only to leave us on the streets. So, I don’t blame my parents anymore, knowing that they were purely tortured by a psycho leach, where me and my sister were just left there standing stupid like bats.
I was quite angry till few years back about my parents ensuring me all the time how I had to change and not being quite normal and that they were ashamed of me, and this was all after my grandmother’s death. Like I was reminding them of their neglect, and simply wanted me to hide it, not showing it around. I am an extrovert, so I did the extreme opposite. So, I ended up in the worst school, on the worst streets, all day long with radical people, junkies, winos and all kinds of battered children of my time. It was my new family, not too much different from the old one, common thing was the abuse, violence and victim mentality. I survived all that by doing creative things like skateboarding, music, street art, etc., avoiding heroin and similar, but I had to come to my 30’s to realize I fell victim, totally not being aware of the abuse I was copping with. The world was looking uglier no matter how much I was in a better position physically or financially. I started healthier diet and lifestyle, but nothing was changing. I strongly felt all the misery of the surroundings, and when it was not there, something would reminded me of it. I was usually among a lot of people around, living in large communities, I couldn’t even notice the loneliness, but I knew it was there all the time. I never thought that how I felt was personal, I always thought that in such a world with genocidal maniacs is how everyone felt more or less, just that some were in denial acting happy or whatever. I was even considering myself happier than most, looking myself as more free, etc. It is when I isolate myself from the crowd and started a raw diet with a bit of a healthier lifestyle, and on my moments of downfall I met my narcissist abuser. She wasn’t the first, like I had a close friend narc that I was tortured by before that, and some other people that I managed to keep them at distance, but when this one came in my life, something wonderful happen. She is a professional mind-fucker and perfect character reader and brutally aggressive and destructive woman. Wonderful in a sense that she took me on a journey that helped me find out things about myself like no one before could. While she was searching for my triggers to push me over the edge, I found where I draw myself the lines, and when she was looking for my week spots, I found out about my weaknesses. While she was searching for better life for herself how to climb over panic attacks, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, phobias and god know what not, while helping her I found out about all of this, and somehow helped me to see I had panic attacks not know it what it was, and how violent and self-destructive I was when she was pulling me in to beat her up so she can then have an alibi to do whatever she wants, which I never really did, but I was demolishing everything around me. I managed to raise above it mainly just to be with her at first, but I was working on myself while I was with her. Yes, she was putting pressure on me to do so, if not she will leave me, but somehow I managed to put aside that fear, and really work on my emotional problems. When she saw I was getting stronger and better no matter what she was doing, she would leave me, and then come back to see if I learned my lesson. 🙂 Anyhow, I didn’t even knew that she was a narcissist parasite, and that my problem with over-sensitivity was in fact, me being empath. People were either scared from my overwhelming direct emotional approach while trying to hide knowing my ability/disability which I had to hide as well but I couldn’t, or they were self-destructive empaths, or narcissistic parasites looking for a way in. Everything that didn’t had that intense emotional connotation of sharing I was simply not interested at all with. The music I listen to has to have it, and I can not help myself not asking for more emotional approach from everyone on everything, and that is when I found out about me being empath and how deeply addicted to sharing emotions I am. Second time when she left me, I tested her love and managed to see her game, and I trow her out of my apartment that she made her own along with most of my things and me. I felt good about it and didn’t felt too lonely to give her a way how to manipulate her way in again, and managed to take her out of my life. When I succeeded, I started feeling the loneliness, but not for her, I truly am disgusted with her, but lonely in general. Like the biggest craving apart from sharing my emotions with other at all time, I crave at night for a hug. Just a hug from anyone that I can relate to somehow, and to be a female. But then I manage to hug myself instead somehow, and fall asleep, rarely but sometimes, I don’t manage to do that. I know going out for a date is pure bullshit, so I feel like I’m stuck in my apartment in the middle of a winter, trying to have a motivation to do stuff, or at least earn money, since I work at home. I isolate myself from the rest of the abusive people I was left with, and just stick to my 2 empath friends, that don’t have a problem with me being me, never did. Happy to have them, but now I just starting to learn about what lies behind the feeling of loneliness, and I would like to find out for myself, I gotta know. I am ready to go through hell and back, cause what I can’t stand the most, is a life of illusions keeping me in a vicious circle from which I gotta, break free. I don’t care if I never ever have a girl beside me to give me love, I gotta learn to love myself more first, then to share it with someone. Not to be an act of dependency. It feels like such a scam. I don’t feel too good with myself that much, but it is what it is. I don’t hope, since I’m not a religious person, but I experiment, question and I try. I gotta know. We gotta know what’s it like to be free from this addiction. Now I truly know I am dependent, not a pretty sight.
Hey, wanted to reply because your comment touched me. I think I might guess which city you live in – it is a very dysfunctional society, all surface show. I have lived there, bought a narcissist back home with me too!
If it helps, keep going with getting advice from sites like this and stay strong. The world needs more empaths but it’s a hard road. We have to find ways to reveal ourselves to others.
Do a Meyers Briggs Personality test, based on Jungian theory. Do a couple. You will find good advice about your type (I’m guessing INFJ?). Value your friends – two is not a small number. We empaths of course are dependent on others. Psychology says we need connections but most people are avoiding true connection out of fear. Sometimes, its the empaths who have to have the courage to speak up and reveal themselves to get others to do so. It doesn’t always work, but more often than you think. I found the way was to really show interest in others and ask them how they feel, ask personal questions, show that you are interested in the real them. Forget the shallow chit chat, some will think you are mad, others will respond in kind and like that you will expand your circle of those who are really valuable.
Good luck and keep giving yourself a hug. Not all people are valuable to us and some are downright harmful and we don’t need them in our lives.
Ok, let’s be honest here. I’ve had my ah-ha moment. I’ve been co-dependent pretty much all of my adult life. I’m 51 years old, and my ‘narc’ passed away last spring after a 19 day stay in ICU with multiple organ failure. I was co-dependent on her ’till the moment she passed. I was the enabler. I’m past the guilt. I’m past the grief. I’m finding myself continuing on my help everybody but myself journey through life. And I’m lonely. But isn’t the need to help others a basic instinct? We’ve only been civilized for a brief period of time. These behaviors are why we are alive. Psychology is young and not well defined. There is a genetic paradox here, where the strong independent self-loving simply die when the storm comes, and the co-dependent misfit lonely people-seekers live on to reproduce. Who writes the rules of psychological law? Nobody. In summary, 500 years ago it was a blessing and now it’s a curse. So to “fit in” and be “normal” I need to act like the rest? Where is the rule book and the number for the Dream Police? Our humble existence is in fact too complex for us to even understand.
Thanks for listening when nobody else will, and thanks for the great website.
It is truly helpful.
UnklAdM: Being compassionate and caring for someone is never out of fashion. It becomes unhealthy when we become consumed with fixing and focusing on the other person’s issues and problems. Co-dependents get too involved. They don’t have healthy boundaries or know where to draw the line. What I advocate is compassion with a healthy dose of detachment.
Katie, smiling and laughing each day, that’s great. I went through everything you and others describe and now I feel relieved, happier and whole. I’m not looking for another man. I don’t have to have one. A poster on here said she sorted herself out to enjoy independently the same hobby she did with the N. I’ve done that too and the experience of freedom from sneering, put downs and attempts to control has been an eye opener just as has how much I can and will achieve. I also do my own things; I’ve seen some great theatre this autumn, eaten out (often solo) beforehand and made new friends by walking with a group. I’ve just arranged to go away with some of them in the spring. I’m sleeping well and concentrating better. I can read for an hour or and listen to music I like. I feel secure and strong enough to face the self work I still need to do. Just signed up for an online self-esteem course. Best wishes for the holidays and 2017 to everyone on here.
Thank you so much for the support. This blog and all the comments from other readers has been the most validating avenue for me after dating my narc. I used to be sad because I missed him. After digging and digging much deeper to my inner self….. it was actually that I missed ME. I missed my light and my spirit. I’m working on getting that back and bringing it out by doing something every day that I enjoy. One small choice each day that makes me genuinely smile or laugh. It’s incredibly empowering. I finally feel like I’m on my own path to recovery. ***Flicked off the soul sucking parasite***
Katie, I know you know this really. He hasn’t won because he’s exactly the same as he was. He’s just starting over doing what he did with you but now to someone else. He will be behaving the same way, using even the same words. If you can close the avenue by which you saw him so much the better. I know this now but I didn’t always.
Today is my first time ever commenting on an article regarding Narcissism. Everyone’s stories and how they survived has at times been the only thing that has gotten me through the day without breaking down.
My ex narc and I were together on and off almost a year and a half. I want to give some very specific examples of abuse that continue to haunt me so everyone can understand just how devistating emotional and verbal abuse can be. My ex drank too much one night and the next day I noticed the bed was wet, from my ankles to my shoulders. I realized he had peed the bed from drinking too much. He was already awake and watching tv. I got up to ask why he didn’t wake me up and I wasn’t continuing to sleep in his pee. He slammed the coffee table, jumped up and screamed in my face “DONT BRING IT UP, IF YOU BRING IT UP AGAIN.. YOU CAN LEAVE”. One day, I cut my hair short and thought it was really cute. 8 came home from the salon and one of the first things he said was “your haircut looks like you’ve had sex with a ton of black guys”. What in the world!?!? This is in addition to passive aggressive and condescending remarks he made about my looks and intelligence everyday. My last straw was in January 2016. My grandfather passed and about 2 days after his burial I said to my ex “I think I was to see a grieving counselor… I’m having a hard time”. He said “ok, why are you telling me?” I said “because you’re my boyfriend and I don’t want you to give up on me when I’m struggling”. He “I gave up on you a long time ago”. That comment struck me to intensely deep. I remember exactly where I was, what time of day and what I was doing when he said that. I said IM DONE. I had enough. I couldn’t believe after everything that we had been through, all the times I was there for him (he got a dui on Christmas a year before that and I stood by him when no one else did)…. that he would say something like that two day after my grandpa was buried.
These are just some of the depths these narcissists are willing to go, to make them feel superior over anyone. I’ve been doing pretty well since the breakup in January until recently I saw he is with someone else and seemed to have moved on perfectly fine. That was a deep cut for me. I feel like he’s “won” and that has exasperated my loneliness. However reading these articles and other people’s survival stories continues to help me be confident in my decision to leave back in january. Bless all of you and your journeys. You’ve helped me more than you know.
Katie, I’m 2 weeks out from permanently removing the narc from my life. We were together off & on for 2 years. The off times were when he had moved back in with his other victim/supply, who finally had enough of him. I felt so sorry for him, how bad she treated him, she didn’t appreciate how wonderful he is. Fooled me! But not any more!! Yes it is still very fresh and raw. He was so verbally abusive (and abusive in many other ways) to me like yours was to you. He cheated while we were together, and I’m sure he’s already seeing others. But, I DO NOT CARE! I feel sorry for the current victims/supply but not for him. You think he’s “moved on”. In reality they don’t “move on”, they are constantly on the prowl for their next victim/supply, even when they are with you. That’s not moving on, it’s staying stuck in the same horrible, pitiful life they have created for themselves. I’ve been away from him for 2 weeks, and will struggle in my healing and recovery for a long time because of his abuse. BUT, I will heal and recover. He won’t.
He stole enough from you already, don’t let him steal any more.
Reading Millie’s day was refreshing and eye opening. I used to cry almost daily with my Narc BF because of the things he would spew. You need to lose weight. You dont know how to drive. Road rage while Im a passenger. You dont know how to cook. You obviously dont know anything about XYZ. Your clothes are ugly. You dont walk right. Your hair is ugly. You need a facial. You cant manage your time. Go get me some dinner. Youre late. Your friends are all stupid. Where are you taking me to dinner. Go pay this bill. Let me dog out. UUGGGHHHHH what am I?? I was feeling like the hired help and we did NOT live together. After 7 yrs and verbal venom because I didnt deliver his tacos fast enough, i ended it. Hes tried to contact me 2x and now hes on a dating website or at least i just discovered he is. Its been 5 weeks and I go thru highs and lows of sometimes missing him but tell myself its just my bruised ego. Thank you.
I cannot say it enough, how glad I am that I found this blog when I did- which was at the beginning of the first discard cycle, when I didn’t understand what the hell was going on. Savannah’s blog helped me to see it like it was, though I didn’t want to.. I wanted to get back to the way it was, but the reality was what I thought I had with that guy was just an illusion. I am so, so glad and so, so relieved that I listened to my gut, my friends, Savannah’s blogs, and I kicked that asshole to the curb and didn’t look back. I mean, I did look back- I tormented myself for months with wondering why he had changed on me, after having been so into me, why he was cruel, after having been so kind… why he didn’t like me, after we had been so close and had talked about marriage. I went over it and over it. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. I didn’t want to accept that he was the jerk he was, and really got all tangled up in blaming myself and thinking somehow, it was because I wasn’t good enough, that he was such an asshole to me. But I did all of that work in isolation. I stayed NC and thank God I did. I fucking dug deep, all the way down to my inner child, and have been doing some major healing work through all this. Staying NC was so hard at first. Not responding to his texts and messages made me feel like a bad person. All kinds of yuck came up for me in ignoring him. But I noticed, by giving myself permission to not respond right away, doing something else (including going to an acupuncture session or shutting my phone off for days), the emotional intensity of my initial response lessened, and then I’d get back in touch with my anger and indignance- boundaries- and I’d feel in the right to keep no contact. I’m in a much, much better place now, and it’s because I walked away. There is no loneliness, no other misery, that could possibly be worse than being with someone who is cruel and uncaring, who uses and abuses you. Walking away from them is only hard when you refuse to see them for who and how they are. Love doesn’t, shouldn’t feel bad. It may feel like the valley of darkness when you walk away, but do it! Run!!! It will be better- I promise- if you shut that door and lock it right and never open it again. Your life is waiting for you on the other side.
Within the first 10 days after “The Discard”, I changed all the locks on my doors. A healthy, smart step to take after being in an emotionally abusive, narcissistic nightmare relationship. Protect yourself, no one else will. Every change you make is one step closer to finding yourself and healing. It is very hard in the beginning, I still loved him, but enough was enough. Basic survival instincts set in and I knew I was better off without him. Thank God I persevered through the pain and agony, no easy task after this kind of relationship . But you have to do the work and keep No Contact. It has been 3 years and he still pops into my head. Not in a loving way neither, more like disgust. I don’t like ANY thoughts of him occupying ANY part of my thoughts.. I wonder when it will completely go away.It’s like Deprogramming yourself from war memories. I have decided it is part of the fabric of my life, my scars, my darkest days and nights, my lessons learned. They say you have to forgive to move on. The best I can do is forgive his sickness. I can’t forgive what he did to my family and myself. I always come back here for guidance and support. Bless us all, the nightmare was real.
I just kicked my husband out again. I realize he is a complete narrcisst and he will never change what he is. It’s been hard for me to accept there really are people who can’t feel? But after 10 years with this heartless man, I no they are real, narrcisstic people are real. I say that? Because I always have been optimistic and believed in people and change for the better. In a narrsisst case? No! They are mentally handicapped and not good! They lack compassion and as much as you search for it? You will be disappointed everytime. They are just not capable of giving of themselves. Life only revolves around their gaining something. They will belittle you to gain control and always let you know they are superior. In their dysfunctional mind they believe that. I personally can’t be around a narrcisstic person. I want to abuse them..lol..but I could never be cold and heartless as a true narrcisst. I’ve been threw hell with a narrcisst and finally threw in the towel…Don’t beat yoursel up! You have probably as myself couldn’t believe there are people really that sick mentally? Just remember? Your not the mentally dysfunctional one, you may feel like you are after being with a narrcisst, but your not! Just try to seperate yourself from their behavior. Would you act like them, treat people like they do? If you compare their behavior to a normal person as yourself? And really you are probably normal…lol…you will realize your with a defected individual. A narrcisstic human being. What to do? Well its up to you? You either tolerate their abuse? Or get out of the cycle addiction and manipulation they create. I’m finally free after realizing he’s the screwed up one and I don’t want to live my life in hell. It’s that simple! I feel lonely and allow myself to mourn him, or more the person I wish he was that he will never be…I use to beat myself up over allowing myself to be with someone who treated me so bad? But not anymore! I realize how manipulative a narrsisst is and they pray on your weakness to get what they want from you. So remember they are pro’s at manipulating their target. A normal loving human being doesn’t think that way? So it’s hard to comprehend a narrcisst behavior. But remember? Seperate your own beliefs and respect yourself, get your own identity back!, put yourself first! And you will look at the narrcisst for what they are, not your delusion of what you wish they were. Be strong my brother and sisters! Our lives matter!….
Karen, You are NOT responsible for your ex’s choices. I think you should change your locks too.
Thank you Lola so much for replying to my comments.
I know your right, it’s been six months since my family and friends made me leave her. Her abusive behaviour towards me was horrible and I started getting high blood pressure on top of the stress and anxiety and her mental and sometimes physical abuse was killing me.
Yes…..reading your reply today Lola was like a shot in the arm……It isn’t love anymore is it. Its everything Savannah writes about
I have beautiful family and friends around me and I now have a fantastic online family. Thanks from the bottom of my heart Lola xxx
I think another reason why it’s so hard form me is because she says I’m her normal and over the years when she kicked me out for whatever reason, my friends would take my phone off me and then Rach would try to kill herself because I’m not answering her messages or phone calls. I’m scared if I block her she will get sick again and try to do it again. Feel so stuck. But that’s so dumb, we aren’t even together anymore.
Oh God……I am going to try not to answer anymore NO CONTACT……….as of today.
She says you’re her ‘normal’. What does that even mean? Abuse is normal for her. These people will continue to abuse for as long as you let them. Don’t give her the power over you.
Literally, everything you are saying is to keep you under her power. She wants you pining after her so you’ll be there at her convenience, only to then tell you that if you move on she will be jealous.
Again, this is to keep you hooked thinking that she still wants you and also she is admitting that she doesn’t want you to ever move on from her. Screw that.
You’ve done the homework and now you just have to pass the test. She keeps coming back because she knows you will take her back. Also, allowing her back into your life says that all this treatment is ok. Clearly, it’s not ok because it is leaving you broken. These people don’t change. The only way to heal is to be rid of them for good. You can do it.
Lola, Millie & Donna thankyou xxx
Savannah thankyou for creating this site x
The feeling I have in my heart today is overwhelming.
I feel a new strength today and that’s because you are girls that have been through this and have taken the time to talk to me.
From one of Savannah’s blogs:
The betrayal is not rational. Only someone who is phenomenally twisted would go out of their way to hurt someone who loves them. Normal healthy people don’t go around hurting people. So true!! And believe me I loved her and did everything for her.
And yes Millie I need to do something about my locks.
I’m not responsible anymore for her actions….Just need to stay positive and make sure I don’t keep running in circles, and I need to stop beating myself up about it also.
Last night when I kept thinking about her, I remembered what you said to me Lola…..Ugly person. Thanks and have a great day everyone
Thanks again Savannah and thanks for everyone’s comments.
I’m in a horrible place today. My ex turned up again on Friday left again on Saturday, contacted me Monday. I saw her that night and she told me that she had made the worst decision finding someone so quickly and that I was the love of her life and always will be. Said she would be jealous when I find someone. She gives hope that after we both heal again after this (2) breakup breakup in 9 years. Messaged me all night while she was at home with her new girlfriend. Told me she did the dumping speech and she was gone. Phoned at 11pm to tell me that she told the girlfriend that she was still in love with me
We all know what she is doing don’t we…..she training the new girl to live by her rules and control. Tuesday I messaged her to see if she was okay and a very cold reply came back, especially after such beautiful ones the night before. I kept messaging…sort lost my shit a bit. AND NOTHING…I’m now a wreck again…..Every fucking 2 weeks she turns up and back into my life and I let her. I am so in love with her. But it’s not love is it. It takes me 2 weeks to get over it when she turns up and then like fucking clock work she comes back 2 weeks later.
So now I’m sad again and empty again.
I read your blogs over and over, I will try not to answer her messages next time. But she just shows up at my door. I came on Friday night after being out and she was asleep in my bed.
It’s so hard, I miss her and my miserable life with her……………WHY???
You ask why over and over but I think you already know the answer. You keep going back in the hopes she will change. She tells you what you want to hear, you eat it up, and then she is gone again. Thus far, she is dicking 2 people around at once and she’s getting her way every time.
Now, you have to ask yourself, what is it you think you love? An idealized self or the abuse, lying, cheating, disregard? Because that’s who she has shown herself to be over and over.
You keep saying you’re reading these articles, but the only way for them to help you is if you actually listen to them. No, it will not change. She will continue to do this. You don’t fall in love one week and then blow cold the next. Off, on, off, on. This is not love.
So, in order to heal, you have to come to the conclusion that you’re worth more than this. And stop idealizing her as ‘so beautiful’ or so this or that–look at her for what she is–an ugly person who causes pain. Is that what you really want? Because the person you’re hoping for does not exist. Even if she is as physically attractive as you believe, do you really think no one can rival her? Think about it.
Forget her words. Actions count. With people like this, only the actions matter. Let me leave you with this: if you don’t take action and continue onward, you are going to continue to feel hurt and broken over and over again. She’s got the points and you’re left with 0.
You’re in love with a false self, not a real person. It took me a long time to realize this myself, but once I did, I was able to break free. You too can break free. You can do it. But you have to allow it to happen. She is not worth your suffering.
Savannah – I can not thank you enough for this site. It has not only opened my eyes but you have made me feel like I’m not crazy. Words cannot express how grateful I am to you.
With that being said, I’ve been doing the NO CONTACT (a lot harder than I thought, I’ll admit). He’s messaged me twice already, which I’ve ignored. I saw him at an event on Thanksgiving, he called out to me, I ignored him and walked away. However the problem is, we know a lot of the same people. And these people are my friends and have been inviting me to things. I really would like to go but I don’t want to see him and I don’t think it’s fair that I have to stop seeing my friends because of him. But maybe, because the NO CONTACT is still in the single digits, maybe it’s best that I just decline those events? I appreciate any and all insight. THANK YOU!
S: A party is not worth your well-being.
I’ve just been to an exercise class without being told I’m weird or obsessive, which I’m not. I met a couple of women I’m getting to recognise when I see them locally. I won’t be told they’re sl**s, which I don’t suppose they are, any more than I am.
Then I went shopping. I planned menus, including green stuff, knowing I won’t be told that’s revolting. I chose nice cheese without being told I’m fat, or a spendthrift, neither of which is true. I know it will last, rather than being eaten by somebody else within the day.
I drove my car without being criticised.
On the way in I chatted with my elderly neighbour, who doesn’t get out as much as me, without being told she’s nosey or anything worse. She isn’t.
Then I came back to my place without being told a list of the maintenance it needs, some of which another neighbour has helped deal with and some of which turned out not to be true when I looked into it.
Now I’m drinking tea without being told how lucky I am to have the choice because coffee is boring but tea is sick making.
There’s a bunch of other stuff I’m not missing and I’m clearer about what made me put up with that misery for so long.
Sav said you couldn’t change your height, which is true. But I feel taller!
I have read these post and I am sitting here thinking OMG they are describing my life. My Life. I need help. I don’t feel like I’m strong enough to let go. I was married the first time for 14 years and he was mentally, physically, sexually abusive. I stayed with him because of our kids or I thought it was, I think I stayed because I was scared to death of him. My second husband was verbally abusive and a cheater, I stayed with him for 11 years. My third husband was for 8 years. He would openly flirt with other women in front of me and would call, text, email them. When I started suspecting it, I put a program on his laptop and I saw all that he did. He was meeting a lot of women, some were the ones you paid for, he said it was only for massages that he received that got him off, he never had sex with any of them. He was always sorry and he loved me. I stayed. One day he came home and said he was unhappy with me and he would help me pack, I cried all night long. My kids came to bring me home, they lived 3 hours away. The whole time I was home he was calling and telling me that he loved me and he just needed time. I was going back and forth every week to train my replacement, so after 2weeks of him calling, I was in town and went to our house. He was not there at the time but her car was. He moved a woman that he was flirting with into my home. I was heartbroken, completely shattered. I left a note on the door stating I was filing for a divorce and would go after him for adultry. As I was leaving they came driving up in my car that he bought for me. I cussed them both out, didn’t touch either one of them but I embarrassed him in front of his whore (who was also married and he didn’t know she had moved in either, she told him also she needed time). He, his mother, and her had me arrested for domestic harassment. I have never in my whole life been in trouble with the law, one speeding ticket in my life. I was booked and my daughter once again came up to bail me out. I went back with her and was fighting this harassment order (it was on Valentine’s Day) after 4 months and we were fixing to go to court, he called me up and stated he was sorry, he loved me, he wanted me back, I first said no but he said you gave your first husband a lot of chances even when he beat your ass. All I could think of was he said he loved me. I went back. Two years later, he is cheating again and I left, filed for divorce, he remarried but he still calls me and tells me how much he misses and loves me. He did kick his wife out and offered me to come back but I made up an excuse that I couldn’t quit my job right now. Why couldn’t I have said “Go to hell”. Why do I keep answering his calls? How do I get me back? How do I break away from him? I have blocked him and then unblocked because I wanted to see if he would call and he does. I didn’t answer one time because I was trying to break away and then I turn around and call him back. What is wrong with me? Sometimes I don’t think of him at all but when he calls and I hear his voice and he says he misses me, I cry because I think I miss him too. What the hell is wrong with me?
Imagine being with a mean sadistic Narc for 30 years and 4 kids. My head was messed up. I knew he wouldn’t give me a thing, so I planned it out in advance in secret then did it.
I also had to fight him in court for 7 years.
It was the hardest thing I did in my life, but I did it. Getting your life back gives you courage! Going no contact was hard, but it’s the only way to seal the deal. If you don’t, they see you as weak.
And after you get your head together, you get to do fun things! If you can just get away, work on your mind, get your sanity back, life is good!!!! I’m so glad I made that choice to get out.
They make you think you need them, but the truth is, they need you! My Ex spent everything after I left, he is a mess. Im doing great. It is the best revenge!
Do it! Run and don’t look back!
And stay off Facebook. No news is good news!
There is no pain like the pain of withdrawing from a relationship with a narcisstic abuser. I’ve kicked a number of nasty addictions — being one of the codependents Savannah describes so well, and using the numbing effects of pot, alcohol etc. to dull the pain of needing approval and affirmation and never getting enough. But nothing was as painful as getting over my abusive N. My N was an absolute master at doling out little bits of attention while cultivating new supply constantly. And I was hooked *completely* on those little bits. The panic feelings, insomnia, and complete inability to focus on anything but her were worse than any other withdrawal I’ve ever experienced.
Savannah is right, sometimes there is no alternative to just putting your head down and taking one difficult step after another. There is no getting around the need to will yourself through every day and sometimes every hour by just doing the next right thing in front of you whether you feel like it or not. There is a warrior spirit that I tapped into to make it through the hours and days of early No Contact. I thought it would kill me but it didn’t. The same is true for everyone else too.
One thing I would add to what Sav says about loneliness. There is an old saying I like: “To have a friend, be a friend.” When I was lonely and hurting I would try to identify someone I knew who was having a difficult time — sickness or breakup or chronic sadness. I would try to do so something generous for that person. Write an email or give a call or go to dinner or even just say a prayer. Doing that got me out of my own head and reminded me that others are suffering too. I’m codependent, so I have to be careful to balance giving with quiet time and time for me to have my needs met. (In early recovery that meant long walks by the ocean and double sessions with my therapist.) But in giving to others I found a good tonic for my loneliness.
For some reason, I thought there would not be a blog today so it was lovely to go online and see one and such a perfect one.
My discard coincided with retirement and the death of my mother; it was touch and go for a while. I’m far enough along now that I don’t want or need to talk about the N but I surely used to. JulieP and Narcfree and others, I so hope you hang in there with your NC. It’s worth it, even at Christmas. My first year, I scraped together the money to go right away on a cheap coach trip and didn’t take my ‘phone. I wasn’t the only single woman and it was a laugh although I never saw any of the people again. Later on, you’ll wish you’d cut away sooner and got your life back, but I can’t talk because it took me five years of boomeranging before I closed him off and only then when the new woman moved in with him.
I wanted to share something that happened yesterday. I’m secretary of my hobby group – typical co-dependent but I’ve made some good friends and the other groups I joined, a walking one and a choir, I am resolved that I will never volunteer for the committee, just go and enjoy! Even in a fair sized city, I’m finding some crossover between the people in the groups.
We had the annual meeting of my hobby group Saturday and I did what I try to do, circulate and talk to people at each table. That’s difficult because of what Sav says, me thinking that I’m odd. At least in that group, we share an interest so I can always talk to people about that. Sunday evening I was singing in a concert at a local church and I received an email from some people from the hobby group, saying they lived opposite and asking me to drop in for a drink beforehand. My first reaction was even not to respond but so, if I don’t like it, I needn’t go again and, if I keep doing that, I will never build up a new circle. So there I was, in a house with some people that wanted to be nice to me that I hadn’t spent time with before. It was fine.
It hasn’t been instant but I can see how it can grow. A lot of the talk between women of my age is about family and grandchildren. Of course that’s important but it’s something I don’t have so the interest groups are good for me.
I’m also sometimes so busy that I really get to appreciate the days I have to myself or an evening in on my own.
What a great article! Not a survival manual but A Good Living manual. Thank you for your wisdom and leading us to apply it in our lives in practical ways. My heart brakes for JulieP here and I want to encourage her to keep gaining courage. It doesn’t happen overnight after years or even months long relationship. Took me a year to kick out that son of a Boomerang! Just want to share with you one thing that did it. This guy, a rich businessman yet living off of me-a single mother for 2 years without sharing none of any expenses while renting his own home in Florida for big bucks….He had this game going on every time he broke up with me (monthly): Each time he frenetically packed, while screaming that he has options and insulting me to the core with the worst name calling, he purposely left behind few shirts in the closet. With time I learned that even though he is on a silent treatment, this is a hint he’ll be back. That’s how he trained me to accept the pain even without crying anymore. After I started to understand and to gain courage from Savannah’s blogs and recommended books (Thank you so much!), here I was AGAIN in my apartment with another hole in my closet and in my heart. Crying I called my friend and she said:”Take those damn shirts (80-120 dollars a piece) and haul them to the nearest Goodwill NOW!!! … I did. And boy it fell epic to do that! (I hope they sold them for 3 bucks to someone poor) The Narc had a key to my apartment and I found out he was secretly coming in after the break ups to get additional stuff or hang out or whatever he did. I never told him I knew that. After that Goodwill trip I went strictly and successfully on No contact. Can you imagine the look on his face when he snooped in and his precious shirts were gone?! And he couldn’t confront me because it would have been a burglary! I never said a word nor requested my key back. Let him wonder. I am still healing and it is so much work. God bless you out there! Maybe this story encourages someone.
I finally kicked out my narc (married 20 years) after discovering the truth behind everything that was happening.
I’m now in a phase of healing and rediscovering who I am. It’s tough, but I’m determined. Your tip about social awkwardness is right on the money for me. I’ve always felt like an outsider and am just now realizing it’s my perception of me that holds me back in interactions with people I don’t know.
It’s a long hard road, but so worth the work. I didn’t realize just how unhappy I’ve been for years.
I just want you to know that your blog indirectly saved my life, because through it I discovered who my ex really was. Thank you so much for your posts, Savannah.
I am feeling very lonely right now. I am 48 years of age and I have been with my narc for 6 years with a six month split 3 and a half years ago. I new something was wrong in the relationship by speaking to people before we split and we put it down to him being controlling and manipulative. After hounding him to get back with him, eventually we got back together. I felt worse out of the relationship than in it and I didn’t know why. It wasn’t until a few months back into the relationship that I found out he had been private messaging his ex on Facebook, this is the one he told me was a psycho…..I still didn’t see the red flags. I confronted him and he said yes but it didn’t mean anything and they were only general messages. I started googling controlling behaviour in a relationship and then I was confronted with all types of information of Narcissists, my jaw fell to the floor, I had an answer to the way he had been treating me etc. He is textbook or very near so. I read and read as much as I could, then a few months later I couldn’t help myself, he was drunk and I went in his phone, something I would never do. I found messages to a woman who turned out to be his PA at work, she looked like a man but hey each to their own. I felt sick, betrayed, I couldn’t trust him anymore, I knew he was a narc 100%. I wouldn’t say he wiggled himself out of it because by that point he knew I didn’t trust him but he kept saying I’ll send you pictures of where I’m at when I get there etc….that’s if he was going out or whatever. I said I didn’t want that but he continued. No I didn’t trust him but I didn’t want us to end either even after knowing that he’s a narc. The relationship has got worse, I don’t trust him, we argue over the trust issues but I get the same arguments back from him, what do you want me to do! He says all the typical narc things, does the narc things and yet I’ve struggled 3 years on to come out of this relationship but we had a massive argument on holiday a few weeks ago and since I got back we had an argument about what we discussed on holiday. He’s turned it all around on me, the total discard is the only thing that hasn’t happened. He said he misses his single life, he’s got a good set of lads he’s working with now etc. and he said he stopped going out because of me and the trust issues. I never actually told him not to go out. He wouldn’t do as I said even if I did say that anyway, so he’s talking rubbish.
I’ve had silent treatment practically for the past 2 weeks since the holidays. I’ve been to see him, he’s cold and distant with me. I’m lonely, Christmas and New Year are an emotional time for anyone, even more so when you are with a narc. He’s cold with me, still wants to sleep with me, but very cold. I’m ok to run around getting his Christmas presents and doing things for him but he’s distant and now I get an email this morning when he got in work saying he’s going to the Christmas markets near work with a few people after work and I can have a list of names if I want. I feel sick, his xmas doo is 10th December and I just know he will cheat on me, he will have a really good time on Friday. He doesn’t want me yet I can’t finish it but I know I should. I’m so lonely and my head is so messed up. I don’t know what normal is anymore. I could go on and on about what he says and does to me but if you’re on this page then I guess you know what narcs do to you. Why can’t I just say enough is enough and go NO CONTACT. He doesn’t respect me, he really doesn’t love me, he’s using me even more than normal now. Please help me to get rid of me, I feel so alone and desperate.
Julie P – This article came at a perfect time for me – I’m feeling lonely too – for him that I don’t even want to be with. Do you know he has nothing to talk about but the weather, and sex…54 years old and that’s all he’s got.
I am on day 65 no contact – HUGE for me, the longest I went was 51….a break through I pray. I have him blocked and then there are times I unblock him to see if he will text or call, but by now after all this time he knows he is blocked. He must be on to a steady supply because I haven’t even gotten the “I miss you, this is so hard not seeing you” emails – It took me a long time to end it too. Ended up on this site as well as others after almost 2 years of the craziness this man put me though and like everyone else, read what I was dealing with a narcissit psychopath. The addiction to the sex with start to disgust you when you know that is all there is, and he is having it with several other woman as well. That was the last time I was with him….I went to his place (I had not been in months when I realized he had been entertaining other woman there while seeing me) I walked in he was on the couch, we hadn’t seen each other in awhile and he did not even get up to greet me. It was a bootie call – and no I didn’t leave – but this was the most disgusting feeling – and even though I took him back way too many times beleiving lies, this time it was like a joke – he didn’t even try to pretend he loved me. Why should he, I let him disrespect me and this would bother me more than it does, except this is not a person who even know what respect means. I kept going back more for me, to prove, we can just go out and have fun, that see we are a couple, but we never did, it was bar – drink – sex….repeat. And that is all he does with anyone else. DO NOT BUY him any gifts!!! I read somewhere (maybe on here) that is like rewarding them for their bad behaviour. OH my word I did that too. So I’m a mess today, and going back to counseling. I know who he is, well everyone did, a jerk, scum bag,etc. But now I know more than that he has NPD and it’s serious. My mind is not going back and forth so much as is was with the NO CONTACT — yes everywhere i read it says it – NO CONTACT. I wanted to send an email this weekend and I wrote it and left it in my drafts. Oh he would have loved that after 65 days of me not talking to him. OK, I meant to write to encourage you, but this helps me too, sharing….we are all in this together, and there is no way they will win!
My perception of loneliness is small. Keep reading and keeping your mind busy on positive things and things that interest you. I am starting to want a relationship again but the though of the whole process still
Overwhelms me most of the time. Somewhat not trusting my own judgement yet. All will happen when it’s time I believe. He will be a very special person! Stay off social media he has nothing positive for your soul! Have a great day!