Narcissist Recovery Blog

Why we are drawn to narcissists and why we are a magnet to them....

This article does a great job of describing some of us to a tee. I definitely consider myself an Empath. This article helps explain not only why we are drawn to narcissists, but why we are magnets to them as well.

"Real empaths feel too much. Real narcissists don’t seem to feel anything, or at least not in regard to others’ feelings. Showing your vulnerable side to a narcissist in an attempt to explain how his or her behavior might be hurtful will just invite more abuse."

Why We're Here

I just want to reiterate that venting, obsessing, over-analyzing and discussing your narcissist with others who understand it is a CRITICAL step in the process of recovery. We view it as the 1st step "Get it Out" and it is the initial reason why I created this board. The 2nd step is to "Understand It" and that is the other primary purpose of this board.

The fact that you are here talking about it means you are no longer lying to yourself about your relationship. That is HUGE! I lied to myself for years about my marriage. I didn't want to believe Prince Charming was not who I thought he was at all. Who wants to admit that to themselves! I know I didn't!

What the Bible says about Narcissism

Catching-up on the board, I noticed a discussion about what the Bible says about Narcissism. While I am not a religious person, I am very spiritual. In response to this recent post, I thought I should point out that the Bible refers to Narcissism as Unrighteous Dominion - The Abuse of Power. Here's a copy and paste from my book on this very topic:

This temptation to exercise unrighteous dominion exists in any situation where one is in a position of power or influence. It can occur at school, work, church, your community and in homes and families. A man who practices unrighteous dominion in his home single-handedly destroys the self-esteem of his wife and children. He may not even realize he is abusing his power, but simply knows no other way to behave.

Have a Love Affair with Yourself

We spend way too much time trying to form and nurture relationships with others who could potentially be our soul mate, when the whole time we neglect to nurture and get to know ourselves!

I know that in the past, I have been guilty of thinking a man could meet all my needs and make me happy. I believe that society teaches young women this from an early age (i.e. Disney Fairytales where girl meets Prince Charming and lives happily ever after).

Living in the Now

I'm so grateful we found one another and I strongly believe God led us to one another as well. I am not a religious person, but I am very spiritual and I belive in a higher power, a higher energy that makes the sun come up every day. It's our job to tap into that energy that exists within ourselves. We all posess the energy to make the sun come up in our lives every day. Tapping into that energy inside us is something we will help each other do by working the steps and supporting one another.

Welcome Newcomers xoxo

We have had lots of new people sign-up on the board lately. While I'm sad that you have to be here, I'm glad you found us because it means you have made the first step in the path to breaking free and finding yourself again - the path to recovery. I lied to myself for years that my relationship with my ex-narcissist-husband (EXNH) was fine. Years, I tell you. I lived in total denial for a very long time.

We Cannot Delete Our Memories

We cannot delete our memories. Narcissists can, but we can't. Besides, as we already discussed, that's no way to live.

It is because we cannot delete our memories that I know many of us can relate to what Shayna's Mommy said in her post today when she wrote about still having thoughts about him even after many years:

"I was having strong guilt feelings about this, because I thought I should be "over it completely" by now, and if I had a shred of dignity I wouldnt waste any more head space on this creep. But now I know thoughts are just random, you won't stop them, and it doesn't mean I'm still "in love" (gak) or jealous (ewww) or pining (spare me) for him. Its just re-processing the past events in my life, just like other memories I revist from time to time."

Narcissists and Memory

My EXNH had an unbelievable memory. He could remember details and dates like no one I had seen before. However, there was only one reason why he remembered these dates and that was to garner Narcissistic Supply.

It's a great question, Aceone Lady. Whether their memory is different than ours. The answer is yes. Studies tell us we have two different memories for the same situation. One is explicit memory - a memory of the details of the experience and the other is Implicit memory - a memory of the emotions connected to the experience. For example, smelling a baked apple pie reminds me of my Grandma and brings about an emotional response of missing her. That is implicit memory. Explicit memory would be my ability to remember how to make the pie. - the details of the experience.

Managing Obsessive Thoughts

We all want to stop thinking about him, right? We want to stop obsessing, but we don't know how. We cannot erase the Narcissist from our brain. It is not possible. However, we can retrain our brain.

You will have thoughts in the future about your ex that you'd rather not have. You cannot control thoughts that come to mind. Memory is memory. Once created, it cannot be erased.

However, the good news is you CAN control HOW you will respond to the thoughts that pop into your head and that is the key to reducing your obsessive thoughts.

The 6 Steps to Relationship Recovery

Step 1 - Understand It

We made a commitment to educate ourselves on the pathology of Personality Disordered Individuals (PDIs). Knowledge is Power!

Step 3 – Get It Out

We share with others in order to validate and process the trauma we experienced.

Step 3 – No Contact

We came to accept the only way to restore our sanity and regain control of our lives is through “No Contact.”

Step 4 – Get Real

We no longer deny the reality of our past and are ready to face our anger, resentment and fear.

Step 5 – Wake Up

We tap into the power of our mind to awaken our spirit and take back control of our lives.

Step 6 – Heal

We have a newfound compassion for ourselves and have made a commitment to live in the moment. We are fully alive

What we can learn from Mel Gibson

I was just re-telling a story to a friend about the last time I went to a Sox game on the south side in the evening. I was there with a guy I had been out with once or twice before. There were four of us - myself, him and his two friends.

I disagreed with something he said. He lost it. No joke, he started yelling and screaming at me in front of his friends. So much so that I literally had to get up and walk away from him because it was so bad. After I pulled myself together in the bathroom and returned, he and his friends had left and I was there alone to find my way back home from the south side.

Moving On

As we've discussed, when we try to get over a narcissist, our minds are experiencing severe Cognitive Dissonance. I first learned about Cognitive Dissonance in college. Basically, it is the difficulty of trying to hold two opposing thoughts or beliefs at the same time.

At the time, I smoked cigarettes and the easiest way for me to understand Cognitive Dissonance was to think of how I felt about my habit. I enjoyed it, but yet, I hated it because I knew it was bad for me, right?

Cognitive Dissonance leads to obsessive thought because we are trying to make sense of a situation that doesn’t make sense. How can I love something that I also hate? That is the crux of the issue when trying to get over a narcissist.