One of the hardest things to come to terms with when one is being or has been abused is that you were tricked and betrayed into thinking that the reason that you were being abused was your fault, but they won’t tell you why it is your fault.  This causes anguish and excessive introspection as to what it could possibly be that you have done wrong.  This is exactly what the abuser wants because while you are in a state of confusion you are much easier to control and punish.

At the same time that the narcissist is abusing you they will tell you that they love you!  They use those words to lure you in so that they can betray, manipulate, objectify and exploit you for money, time, energy and attention.  It is a bit like when someone deliberately speaks in a very quiet voice so that you have to physically lean towards them to hear what they are trying to say.

When you realise that you have been abused your whole perception of the world shifts.  This is not an exaggeration as you have to reassess everything.  How you present yourself to others, how others present themselves to you (knowing that this type of abuse is out there), what love actually means to you in all of its components, who you want to be around and who you don’t, the type of job you want to do and so on.  Your entire belief system will be challenged and has to literally be rebuilt from its foundations so that you can learn to trust yourself, stop giving toxic people the benefit of the doubt when they display abusive traits and to treat yourself with compassion.  In essence you have to reboot the entire system.  It is an enormous amount of work and almost certainly the hardest job that you will ever do but it is worth it and so are you.

If you have grown up in a narcissistic family of origin this will be a much harder task because you will have had a life time of abuse and no healthy models to follow.   There is no point in turning to your siblings for support because their view of the world is as distorted and jaundiced as yours was.   Children of narcissistic parents will have lived their life being devalued and taught to accept abusive behaviour relationships.  They have been traumatised by a person or people who have filled their brains with negative messages and these messages need to be identified and evicted so that you can move to a better place.  This recovery takes a great deal of time (especially from a narcissistic family of origin), energy and education.  Sometimes you will feel completely over whelmed by it all but remember you grew up with one or more emotional rapists and that is a huge thing to come to terms with.

When you start to recover from abuse you will find yourself experiencing cognitive dissonance, cognitive dissonance is a term that explains when a person has two conflicting beliefs or values that are vying for attention or validation at the same time.  What we are all looking for is a model that says “I believe this and all that I see and feel around me fits in with what I believe”, when what you see and experience around you does not conform to your beliefs or your value system then a question or a hole in our system emerges and we strive to find a solution or correct this anomaly.  The healthy way to deal with this is to reassess that which you previously thought.  If you have been abused as a child, cognitive dissonance can threaten your core values and to preserve who you think you are or were told who you are, and if you are not ready to embrace change you can use denial, justification, hyper empathy and over thinking to stop the disharmony.

The next stage of recovery from abuse is to accept it for what it is/was.  In the beginning of realising that you have been abused you will be in a state of shock “how could I not have seen this” etc.  you might well blame yourself for being an idiot.  That is an unnecessary step because you were manipulated by an expert and it was your kind, generous and forgiving nature that left you open to exploitation – don’t punish yourself for being that person.

After you have realised what has happened you might look around to friends and family for validation.  This is probably the most precarious step of your recovery, because people who have not been through (or accepted in their own relationships what they are going through) will bombard you with a set list of platitudes (and a denial of your true experiences).  These come in the form of:

  • “Move on” (if you do not know what you are moving on from this will only cause problems in the future)
  • “Forgive and forget” (if you do not know what you are forgiving then you cannot forget)
  • “You are over reacting” no, you are not and if someone has not had the same experiences that you have had they have absolutely no idea of what they are talking about.
  • “you are paranoid” (not)

So, now you know what is going/went on, the absolutely most important thing to do is to EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE yourself.  It is important to acknowledge that abuse does happen and it happens in every walk of life and very often the most cruelty a person will experience will be at the hands of family members. We have to embrace this new knowledge even though it is painful and hard to accept.  It would be comforting to think that we are in “safe hands”, but we are not, we are being ruled by narcissists, psychopaths and maniacs who seek power beyond anything else.  They are not thinking of or representing you, you are a mere object in a game that they are playing out in their head.

The final important thing to remember about abuse is that it will start when you are at a low ebb in your life.  You might be a child and therefore powerless within the family unit, have just got divorced, lost a job, moved country or a parent might have just died.  It is at the moment when you most need love and support that the narcissist will move in to start the abuse.  Why do they do it at these already traumatic moments?  Because they can, because it is much easier to bully someone who is already vulnerable and because narcissists are fundamentally lazy and why go for a tough target when they could abuse a soft one so much easier.  If someone suddenly starts to shower you will an inappropriate amount of attention in these moments, be aware that it just might not be as it seems.

About us

Narcissism is rife at the moment, not because I think that there is an exponential growth, but because we have a name for it, the patterns of behaviour and language usage is alarmingly predictable and because somewhere along the line we have been given permission to move away from people who make us feel uncomfortable (aka toxic people).

We set up this website for educational and informational purposes only.  Our goal is to provide as much information about this personality disorder as we can so that people can recognise and protect themselves from NPD.  We are not here to vilify anyone, however, we are not going to pretend that the impact of being around people with this condition is not extremely dangerous and destructive.  It is also important to know that Narcissism is a spectrum and some people with the condition are a lot more abusive and sadistic than others who might just manifest the traits as being without empathy extremely self-absorbed.

Education is the key to keeping yourself safe.  Recognise it for what it is and you will be able to navigate the murky waters around a narcissist much more effectively.  That does not mean that they will not try to destroy your reputation, steal your ideas or take credit for your achievements.  What it means is that you will know that the way that they treat you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.  They may name call, try to destroy your reputation, constantly say “you are so …”.  It is their issues that they are trying to shake off and blame someone else for.  It is called projection “I don’t like this about myself, so it is your fault”.  So hold your ground, learning about NPD is very hard and it changes your perspective on everything.  Don’t try to learn too much too soon, let it sink in slowly and gently reinforce your boundaries.

A word of warning: Once you realise that you are with a narcissist or have come from a narcissistic family of origin, it is very easy to become obsessed with learning all about the condition.  However, you (one) will only be able to absorb the concept in small increments, so there is no point in getting up at 4 am and Googling facets of narcissism.  You (one) simply won’t be able to absorb it in a speedy way.

Another word of warning: There is little or no point in talking to people who have not experienced or are not educated about narcissistic abuse.  They simply will not know what you are talking about and it might only serve to make you feel even more isolated and vulnerable.  There are a lot of support groups out there and it would be more beneficial to converse with people who know what you are talking about, rather than those who will imply that you are being too sensitive, paranoid,  feeling sorry for yourself or simply lying.

Fifty common traits found in narcissists (A cheat sheet)

  • Lack empathy
  • Very disrespectful of others
  • Regularly make and break promises
  • Always have an excuse for all of their behaviour and comments
  • If they apologise, it is always general and never sincere and they do not change their behaviour
  • They are always angry or irritated, or are just hiding it under a very thin veneer
  • Expect perfection from others but expect to be “let away with it” for themselves
  • Have little or no self-awareness
  • Constantly try to prevent others from expressing themselves
  • Hyper critical of others
  • Regularly attack the reputations of others by lying, sneering etc.
  • Confront others rather than connect with them
  • Pathological liars
  • Thieves
  • Refuse to be accountable or take responsibility for their own actions
  • Can only think in the very short term
  • If they decide that they want something they will go to any lengths to get it including criminal activities
  • Use people and treat them as objects
  • Try to curtail the freedom of others
  • Try to arrest the development of others
  • Try to hinder the development of their own children so that they can keep them focused on the parent
  • Have no friends, just acquaintances
  • Don’t listen to anyone
  • Assume that everyone tells lies as much as they do
  • Assume that everyone is as self-serving and amoral as they are
  • Have issues trusting others (think that others think like they do)
  • See kindness as a weakness
  • Hyper defensive of self and hyper critical of others
  • Argumentative for no reason
  • Constantly contradict themselves which creates confusion as it is difficult to understand what they mean. They don’t know either
  • Behaviour changes depending on who is around them
  • Unforgiving
  • Enjoy others misfortune detest others happiness and success
  • Terrible gossips, betray other people’s secrets
  • Completely self-absorbed unable to see another person’s point of view
  • Prone to temper tantrums
  • Quit when things get tough
  • Expect others to take care of all of their needs without any reciprocity
  • Get angry when others express or assert themselves
  • No core beliefs or values
  • Pathologically envious/jealous of others
  • Always have to be right, get inappropriately angry when people disagree with them
  • When in an argument they fight to “win” not to find a solution
  • Extremely manipulative
  • Use weakness and vulnerability (victim syndrome) as a tool for manipulation while abusing others
  • Violate people’s privacy, will open post, text and emails etc.
  • Will happily be disrespectful of other people’s reputation in an attempt to make themselves feel more important
  • Cannot be teased, will end in temper tantrum
  • Fear of being abandoned
  • Fear of being ignored
  • Fear of being disrespected
  • Extremely ungrateful