The photo above shows an independent woman before ending up in the claws of the narcissist... or was she really ever independent?
An empath, like me, is a narcissist magnet. I don’t think I can even count on my own two hands just how many narcissists who have wanted to get tangled up with me and my life, and how many who have actually succeeded. Even if a narcissist is more than happy to catch an empath, he doesn’t always succeed.
I have a tendency of letting myself get caught. I stay – way too long. Because at the same time as I’m an empath I struggle with low self-esteem.
Perfect combo for the narcissist’s victim.
So, ok, one day the narcissist steps into your life and everything just turns into a romantic pink soft and cuddly cotton ball. Your self-esteem (or rather your ego) gets a boost. He makes you feel like the only woman in the world – yes just like the Rihanna song. He adores you. And that’s what you want, because just face it – your self-esteem sucks.
It’s a complete mess with feelings – the hyped feelings of the narcissist, which are truly just a reflection of your own since he doesn’t have any, but then you feel them twice as much since you’re an empath. The emotional whirlwind is on such an insane high that the fall which is unavoidable will hit you yellow and blue, in spite of the fact that no one ever even laid a single finger on you.
The narcissist knows exactly how to woe you. He has watched you carefully, and he has the ability to really notice details, he makes this his only mission – getting to know you, your innermost soul. Who are you? What do you enjoy, what do you dislike, what makes you angry, sad, happy; what do you want, what don’t you want?
Who are you? The narcissist knows exactly who you are.
And he does everything to mirror you. He mirrors you to give you a person perfectly created for you. You. In a partner. In a soulmate.
He woos you in a way you’ve never been wooed before and he is so pushy, sweeps you away. Sure to get his message through – he truly feels this is the right thing, and unlike everyone else, you’ve met before he really shows you what he wants! He is so sexy and attractive because he’s not shy, no he grabs what he wants and he tells you – in words as well as in actions – that it’s the two of you for the rest of the life. You are my soulmate, we belong together. You and me against the world, baby.
Everything feels so right, and so perfect.
He screams he loves you after 2 weeks (if your name is Katie Holmes he might jump up and down on the couch at Oprah…) and you move in together after 3. The merry-go-round of the narcissist is spinning fast, and this is exactly the point. You’re not supposed to be able to catch your breath. Because if you did it probably wouldn’t work.
He needs you to go completely insane from this hypnotic fabricated infatuation.
This is love bombing on the highest level, the highest gear is in – he needs to be able to catch you. And that is exactly what he does.
You’re walking straight into the trap because he commits no wrongs!
He knows everything you like, listens to everything you say, gives you the right compliments and buys the right flowers, the right things, surprises you with lots of fun stuff and you have never felt this loved and appreciated. That is the sad part of the story. You have never felt so loved and you will never feel this loved again.
You just have no idea the long nuclear winter is coming…
The “love” from a narcissist will get you high, unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before or anything you ever will. The ensuing emptiness will eat you from the inside and out… The emptiness is digging this huge hole within, and the pain is unbearable… Because nothing is or was real…
The narcissist continues with compliments, encouraging you to actually follow your heart, do all those things you’re dreaming about. Because by now you have told him all of your dreams. He knows all of your wishes because he is greatly talented in that way. Great to get you to divulge things. Make you feel like someone’s actually listening to you.
If you’re suffering from low self-esteem you’re not really used to that feeling, you’ve actually never truly believed that someone really cared about that person deep inside of you.
Why don’t you just get that writing going – you know you love it so much… Why don’t you start a blog? You can display your photos, from all of your travels. You take such lovely photos. And you write so well.
Everyone will want to read your blog and look at your photos.
When he’s raised you up, here comes the putting you down… The need to change you a little, or degrade you somewhat. Little baby steps… You weren’t really that great, to begin with, so the narcissist just wants to help you. At the same time, he makes sure you’re getting totally squashed.
You need to understand you can’t eat several times a day, even if you’re hungry often and gets full quickly. It is simply not normal to have breakfast, lunch and dinner. Come again? Don’t everybody? No, you just don’t.
You simply don’t eat several times a day in proximity of a narcissist who has decided you only eat once a day!
After all, you just have to understand, you need to eat like the narcissist. It’s enough for him to eat once a day. One huge plate. That needs to be enough for you too. So you eat when the narcissist gets back home after school/work. You may not eat during the day when he’s not at home. Just don’t! He does a sweep when he gets back home, making sure no food is missing.
Because at this point you’ve actually gained some weight… And he just wants to help you.
Can’t you see that he’s only trying to help you?
And soon enough you’re sitting there in your car outside of the supermarket, stuffing yourself with food you’ve just bought because you’re so hungry you’re about to faint, but you’re too afraid to eat anything in your own home.
NO! Don’t just slice the cheese in any random way. And what are you wearing? Isn’t one colour just enough? And couldn’t you have chosen a more discreet colour? Shouldn’t you consider your age, you’re not a child, you’re a grown woman. You look like a lunatic! Are you really going out like that? Don’t you understand everyone is laughing at you?
Everyone is really laughing at you! I’m just telling it like it is!
And do you really believe anyone wants to read anything you’ve written? You’re so dull! You’re nothing, a nobody! And yes, some of your photos might be nice (some praise gets sneaked in), but why would anyone be interested in seeing them (just to be crushed by some degrading)? It’s not that amusing watching photos of somewhere you’ve never been, now is it?
If you’ve actually “behaved” you’ll get some affection in disguise… Wow. Well look at you, you’ve actually put on a beige shirt, just like the narcissist wanted you to do. You’re so beautiful. You see what happens when you follow the narcissist’s advice. You simply become better. You should always listen to the narcissist, because he knows what is best for you.
You just don’t understand, you know no better…
The narcissist moves on with isolating you from everything and everyone. Friends aren’t good enough, family treat you badly – can’t you tell? Only the narcissist appreciates you. And considering all the praise and compliments he poured allover you, in the beginning, then what he says about your loved ones is probably true. Do they even care about you? Like he does? They never listen, do they? Not like the narcissist.
Nobody listens like the narcissist when he sucks in all the important information about you.
And your friends? Well, one of them is a slut, you can’t hang out with her. What do you even do when you see each other? You’re probably out sleeping around. Disgusting! Another one is totally clueless, and/or so fracking mean. By the way, didn’t she make a move on the narcissist as well? When she knew you were together. What a fracking slut that one too.
Deep down you know this isn’t true, but you’re too hammered down to fight it. You make your sacrifice!
So, no you truly don’t have any sensible friends, why do you even need such loosers in your life? You’ve got the narcissist, and he can take care of you. You’re soulmates and the narcissist loves you. Had you truly loved the narcissist you wouldn’t need friends.
Had you truly loved the narcissist enough you had done this and that… turned yourself inside and out… although isn’t that exactly what you’re doing?
Soon enough you’re sitting there all alone. Even though according to the narcissist, you don’t need friends, he does. He’s already out on new adventures, looking for new supplies, new people to feed his ego – for long-term friends are something the narcissist is lacking. He has discarded them all along the road. You’re waiting faithfully at home. Because you have no one left…
What else could you do?
When he’s back home he doesn’t talk that much. If you try and start a conversation you’ll get mostly grunts. Why do you need to nag all the time? Can’t you just be happy? And now you’re FAT too. That is just disgusting… Maybe you should cut back on the candy, or eat even less food? Maybe start to work out? Or, wait, no, don’t do that, that would be embarrassing for everyone.
I’m so fucking disgusted to even sleep in the same bed as you!
All of a sudden the narcissist doesn’t come home at night after the party. Where has he been? That’s not your fucking business! Are you his mother? Are you jealous? You’re so fucking ridiculous. Even though the narcissist could’ve been unfaithful if he’d pleased, there are so many interested women, just throwing themselves over him, but he hasn’t because he chooses not to.
He chooses you, he loves you. You’re just imagining things. You’re exaggerating…
Maybe you should dial that jealousy down… it’s unattractive!
Gaslighting is full-on. The narcissist confuses you constantly. When you bring something up the narcissist responds with whitewashing or evasiveness. Everyone does this. Nothing weird about it. You’re just imagining things all the time. Had the narcissist wanted to move on, he would have. The narcissist is still in this relationship because he loves you, can’t you see that. He wouldn’t have been there otherwise… Because EVERYONE truly loves him – he can get any woman he wants!
The worst thing is the accusations and the hurt look on his face: How can you even accuse me of something like this? Me? Who loves you and are always here for you!
You feel constantly confused, but have soon learned to not awaken the narcissistic rage, so you back off. The rage comes and goes, and you’re walking on egg shells, to avoid awakening it. Maybe you can just let all the things pass, the things he said, and that he’s actually been out all weekend and you have no idea where he’s been or why he refuses to bring you along.
You’re living totally separate lives, like two strangers under the same roof. Sleeping in the same bed, without sharing each other’s lives, or souls.
The narcissist doesn’t give you what you need anymore. He withholds the feelings, as a punishment. You’re not getting any validation, no feelings, no affection, no closeness. The soft, comfortable rugg has been pulled from under your feet and you’re left standing there wondering what happened. What did you do wrong? Why doesn’t the narcissist love you anymore? You feel completely empty, because you have lost everything that made you feel so complete.
This is unbearable for any human being, but for an empath – indescribable excruciating to be robbed of feelings like that!
The emptiness after the narcissist’s love bombing is complete. A hole so deep it seems there is no bottom. For an empath, this is sheer horror! The lack of feelings is the worst bottom hole for empaths. We need emotions to function, to live. When the narcissists refuse us our whole existence falls apart.
What is the empath’s response? Shutting down, which creates a vicious unhealthy circle.
Now the narcissist has broken you into millions of pieces, and he loves it. If he’s found a new victim or source, he moves on. Like nothing happened. If he doesn’t have another source he might stay a little longer just to continue his merry-go-round. Maybe he’ll return to love bombing, since he’s noticed you’re not that committed anymore. You have nothing more to give, because you are empty. So, he refills you with “emotions” and “tenderness”.
It’s fake, fake, fake. Everything with the narcissist is fake!
Many are the times I’ve wished the narcissist had beaten me instead, which sounds insane because physical abuse will surely affect your mental sanity as well, so it will be twice as bad. But healing from the mental damage and catastrophe the narcissist put you through is excruciating, and most people just don’t understand. People understand physical abuse, but narcissistic abuse – most people don’t even take it seriously.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words shall never hurt me!
I’m probably the first to sign off on this old children’s rhyme above, but it’s not really accurate. Words from a stranger don’t hurt me significantly, as should be, but words from a loved one hurt. Especially when they’re repeated time and time again, beaten into your mind. Add to that – manipulation in the relationship. Manipulation, as well as all narcissistic related issues, are so much larger than just words.
It took me plenty of years to be able to slice the cheese the way I wanted, or to buy a sweater on my own without having a minor panic attack.
He changed my entire world.
My entire faith in humanity was totally shattered, and that was rough, but I could live with that. The worst thing of it all was that I had totally shattered my trust, and faith, in myself. I had let myself down, I had let my soul down – completely. My self-love (if I even had one, to begin with) had just gone up in smoke as I had willingly thrown myself into the arms of the narcissist. Without hesitation, because I was starving of attention and love.
To be able to feel that someone actually saw me.
The saddest part with narcissts are that they are broken people, they are not even real people, just empty shells, lacking the ability to feel real emotions. A narcissist doesn’t have empathy, they’re just mirroring yours. To make a connection. They are drawn to empaths, and one of the reasons is we have a whole heap of emotions, we are givers. And when they’ve taken everything they want from you they just move on. Just like that.
It’s a tough realisation, especially for me as an empath, since I instinctively want to feel for all beings, even the evil ones.
And have no doubt, a narcissist is evil. There is nothing good in them. Nothing. But still, my mind plays tricks on me, making me feel so bad, so guilty, every time I try to shut the narcissist out. I would rather cut my own arm off than go no contact with him. These are the consequences of a true trauma bond.
Having been exposed for several years to gaslighting makes you constantly confused. You need to know you’re not the crazy one, but this confirmation is nowhere to be found. Noone sees the narcissist quite like you do. A charismatic amazingly helpful person – how could he do anything wrong?
Noone knows who the narcissist really is…
Your own friends might hear you, and get his bad sides, but then, they see the asshole, and not the narcissist he is. Why you can’t walk away is totally incomprehensible to them. He treats you like garbage! GET OUT!
Unfortunately, you’re on your own here, and that’s hard after so many years of psychic abuse. You need to educate yourself in order to actually understand that the narcissist is a narcissist, and understanding how a narcissist operates might help you. But it won’t heal you. I’m so sorry. But healing is a long process. Maybe lifelong.
Knowing you have yet again bought into a narcissist’s mindfuckery is painful, the merry-go-round is just spinning… as soon as you believe you’ve stepped off you’re all of a sudden onboard again.
And how did you even get on the merry-go-round again – well, you don’t have a clue. So you truly need that confirmation that he is indeed a narcissist, you need the confirmation that certain things actually happened and are not just all in your mind, you need the confirmation there’s nothing wrong with you, but it’s something wrong with the narcissist!
You have a whole book with events you know happened, documented evidence, and you want to confront the narcissist – get him to admit his wrongdoings. But no, it’s impossible. A narcissist will never admit to doing anything wrong. He will only confuse you further.
And the only way to win against a narcissist is to not play the game.
It’s a Catch 22 because before you get that confirmation you can’t move on, or at least it will be very difficult. You at least need to find a way to accept the thought that you might not be crazy. No matter what. And then just walk away, move on and whatever you do – don’t ever look back…
Having spent years in a relationship with a narcissist just watching him move on in such a hurry hurts. Of course, it hurts. Even if you fully understand it doesn’t mean anything, it still hurts. You were simply nothing to the narcissist, the new source for the ego boost is nothing, people, in general, are nothing for narcissists.
Noone is of importance in the narcissist’s world! Except for the narcissist!
This is something you on a daily basis need to remind you of, as you’re trying to pick up all of your soul pieces, moving on after a ride in the narcissistic merry-go-round…
Have you had a relationship with a narcissist, or maybe five? How did you get out? Please leave a comment…