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Although I’ve cut him out of my life I still feel as if I carry a part of him with me. It’s been two months and I don’t believe a single day has passed where I haven’t thought of him. I cycle through periods of acknowledging the abuse as truth and periods of crippling self-doubt. I manage to convince myself that I was the abuser and he, the victim and vice versa. Narcissism is a difficult concept to grasp and hold onto when you’ve been completely brainwashed by covert manipulation for 3 years. After the first step I took in getting rid of him I was only able to hold onto the idea as truth for 24 hours. I panicked that night, thinking it was all a delusion, while fighting the urge to re-contact him and apologize for asking for some space. I quit my job the next day, (we were coworkers) having convinced myself on the ride there that he might kill me with his car. It occurred to me that the ditch he’d driven us into with miraculous control not a week before was directly beneath a cemetery sign. My gut was screaming at me as it had been ignored for so long and I decided I needed out regardless of whether this was a coincidence. By the end of that day I had totally broken down thinking I’d made a horrible mistake in quitting. I lost my identity and my livelihood to him and I was left with nothing. The cycles grow longer and fewer in between as time passes but I still feel this chronic impulse to hide away forever knowing he is still out there. I don’t know if I can trust anyone with my empathy again.
 

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I think everyone has been a victim of Narcissism. Some more, some less.
Any person who says haven't faced a Narc is either a Narc himself or a co Narc.
 

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Sorry to hear about your situation, nallred. Having experienced a plethora of narcissistic abuse the past few years from various people at work I'm keenly aware of how much stress and doubt people like that can cause. That said, getting out is tough but be strong in knowing you did the right thing. It doesn't get better, unless the person is willing to change, and that can be a very long and painful process.

My most recent problems with a narcissist have been with one of my co-workers (same sex though, so thankfully not a close relationship), it has been one of the most stressful for me yet also one of the most successful in learning how to deal with it. The first thing that you need to learn is confidence, any time you have an idea of your own or start showing independence they'll start trying to manipulate you into feeling insecure. Don't let them do this! The narc I work with would do it in two ways, first by constantly second guessing my factual knowledge and telling me I was doing things wrong. This is a particularly painful area for infjs, the only way through it is to recognize the reality of the situation and also don't be afraid to be wrong. Luckily for me I'm much more knowledgeable than my co-worker, but you have to recognize your own knowledge and be confident in your decisions. The second way is manipulation of relationships. When I would learn about the manipulative things my co-worker was trying to do behind my back I would confront him, only to have him try to tell me I shouldn't be talking to other people about such things. You have an innate ability of knowing who to trust, and it's not people like a narc who try to manipulate you!

I still have to work with my narc, I wish I could just cut ties completely as that would be best, but if you can't do that then you have to find ways of dealing with him. Confidence is key, standing up for yourself, and talking to other people who you can trust with your feelings is huge. One of the most empowering things I did was contact all the people I knew were having problems with the narc and talk things through in an open manner. It was funny because they all told the same type of story of abuse, at that point I knew it was not just me having personal problems and with the backing of many other people I used our shared experiences to pretty well emasculate him. I then had to have a serious confrontation with him and told him that I was no longer going to allow him to push people's boundaries so much and that I was curbing his power. From then on when he has stepped out of line I have had to call him out on it, of course he has lashed out each and every time, but it's just empty words he uses and with my own self confidence I can take his negative reactions and turn them into something constructive.

Hope all this rambling helps! It's a frustrating topic for me as I'm facing several more years of it, though at least I think I've learned to cope. If I could get out though it would be the preferred option!
 

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Don't be too hard on yourself. You probably feel like it's all your fault sometimes, but it's what 3 years of Narcissistic abuse make you feel like. It's not reality, it's not about you. Read it again and again until you feel it. It's not about you.
Try to enjoy little things! It's always hard to get out of this, but don't punish you for this because again, it's not about you.
I hope you'll feel better soon! :)
 

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Hi. I can't say that I speak from experience, but I understand the devastating effects Narcissistic abuse has on a person's self esteem let alone their sanity. Once the narcissist breaks you down, it feels like it's nearly impossible to build yourself up again. Narcissists will always only be out for themselves. They will never admit that they're wrong because in their minds, they can do no wrong. They love to play sick, sadistic mind games; it gives them their power trip. They specialize in turning the blame and guilt on you when they are the ones who've done you wrong. These manipulative, conniving monsters are not worth a damn minute of your life and you don't deserve to continue to suffer like this.

If it helps you to listen to someone with firsthand experience, might I recommend this youtube channel? https://www.youtube.com/user/mattshsq/search?query=couple This guy's name is Ollie Mathews and he offers advice on overcoming Narcissistic abuse. He comes from a background of parental and spousal Narcissistic abuse and he's very informative on the inner workings of a narcissist's mind.

Good luck to you and I hope you overcome this soon.
 

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So I swore that my boyfriend was a narcissist 6 years before we got back together. Just recently I found out that he's not a narcissist, but the only reason he wanted to move in with me was to monitor me. Even if he's not, it's pretty screwed up. I didn't think he had a romantic bone in his body and couldn't feel empathy. Now I realize he actually can, just didn't feel like it for an entire year because he prioritized revenge over love.
 

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You will be able to trust again but it will take time. Narcissists take advantage of everyone, but they have the most success with people who have a lot of good inside. The good you give them is yours to take back. Give yourself your trust for now. Trust that you will figure it out. Trust in your ability to care for your self.
 

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Thinking logically with educated reasoning and knowing their tactics is often the best counter (during and after abusive behaviours).
The key point is to figure out a baseline of more healthy ways and to take a systems thinking perspective (circles of control, roles and responsibilities you actually have in life and looking for examples of more negative ways the abuser would project or expect others to accept).
The book Wolf in Sheep's Clothing by Simons Jr and exploring types of narcissism, manipulation and types of aggression may be helpful until the mind stops trying to identify with 'correct thinking'.
(For me it was destructive parential narcissistic ways that are subtlety different to full-blown NPD.)
 

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Reading this thread I think I may have been a victim.

I still convince myself that there's a good person in her deep down. But she did play (as in act) her way into my heart, allowed me to trust her, when my trusting was already a sensitive and precarious thing, then punished me for my actions, words and choices. She is capable of things that are so cold that they're beyond my comprehension. And the only way this is possible is if she's so focused on herself that she's not capable of seeing her impact, or she's completely void of the ability to empathize. And if so, then that's scary.

I was driven to deep depression, to the point of desperately wanting out. Lost my identity. My Ni "compass" was broken, unable to read people cause I had no ability to trust in what I was seeing, as in my experience with her she was impossible to read I think because there was no actual relatable, genuine emotion present to pick up on. So Fe/Ni was rendered useless. Quit my job of a few years like the OP to get away and start anew. I've practically begged for forgiveness when I was more wronged than the wronger, and she still will not give it. It's these sociopathic individuals that leave such damage in people that are vulnerable like us (unfortunately), that want to see good in others and stick by them. Perhaps the kindest thing she's done is try to get rid of me in recent months, but only after the damage had been done. But it's not that simple. I still suffer and not because I still want her in my life in the same capacity, I don't. But because I've still internally needed that forgiveness/some acknowledgement of her wrong doings to move on properly because of all the guilt and other impeding feelings, and she refuses to give either. So she's still managed to hold my well being hostage even after walking away (which was more turning her back coldly). I'm only now breaking free entirely and beginning to see promise, and life in others.

I feel for whoever else has gone through similar circumstances. I truly do..
 
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I had something of this kind. It really makes you feel like you're to blame. I only understood when I got week off her. I realised that she manipulated me and other people. To understand, I've read a lot, mainly Sam Vaknin, self proclaimed narcissist about behaviors and traits of one. In one moment I thought I am the one, then I realized that I have big self esteem problems.

This gave me a lesson of both good and bad. I learned about such side of myself, like, how actually self absorbed I am and other negative traits along with insecurities she projected on me. It gave me bigger understanding on what Am I, how I work, what makes me click, how I crave acceptance and so on. It was hard, I still have to fight resentment, doubts and so on, but I do know I did a right thing quitting, every day I do feel better. Time heals, it took me more than half a year, still not recovered completely...
 

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I relate so heavily to the kind of psychological confusion you're describing, though I was only (thankfully) involved with this person, in my case, for a few months. I can only imagine the state that three years of that kind of abuse would leave you in. My experience is something I wouldn't wish upon anyone. Allowing this person close to me was severely destabilizing and ultimately shattering. I'm only now beginning to be able to look back and not flinch internally. For months afterwards my mind retracted and reacted like a wounded animal. In truth, there are still these moments.

Those last few sentences you wrote especially ring true for me as well. It currently seems impossible to ever extend trust to another human being again. It's also really hard to trust myself. How could I ever let this happen? But I'm trying to take this as an opportunity to forgive myself and to connect fully with myself. Something that I don't think I've ever truly done; what probably left me most vulnerable and exposed. The impulse to hide away forever is needed time and protection for healing to occur. I hope the same for you.
 

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Accepting the truth is the first step. Once you start again at a clean slate, you'll realize how much good you missed out on and how much good you'll have in store for the future. Let the 3 years be a murky hole in your life that you stepped out of - Only good can come out of that from now on.
Use the past as a lesson. There's a neat balance between skepticism and acceptance that you should wield when you deal with people, and it seems that a little extra dose of skepticism was needed in this case.
 
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