Have you ever been a victim of narcissistic abuse?

Have you ever been a victim of narcissistic abuse?
When I ask that, I don't just mean have you ever experienced it. I mean have you ever been through it long-term to the extent that the narcissist went on to successfully deceive you - by successfully getting you to question your own sanity/perception so much that you did believe it was you who was the problem and you went on to suffer the mental health consequences of that abuse (loss of identity, dehumanization, dissociation, depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc?)
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  • No not really. I've felt down on myself at times but it wasn't because of anything someone else did or said. It was because of my own inner critic. 
  • Ya know, honestly, (personal but its happening) the lesbian who is trying to obtain custody of my son did this to me. In fact, she is the type that got to know me in ways I would rather not open to others about, shared similar life stories, then turned around and reported my thoughts (spiritual beliefs/experiences, nothing negative) to social services. She still has temporary custody of my son (of course, she gave him back in July when she had her evidence of a tax deduction) from where I trusted her to help me get through my detox, by keeping my son while I was hospitalized. I am still having to prove my "mental stability" and "sanity" to her and the court system because of how she used my character traits against me. She mentioned a lot about how I get upset easily over sensitive subjects, and even added things in that were not at all true--nor did I even mention.

    The fact that she acted/s like a friend and that I could/can confide in her really bothers me. I have no plans to carry any kind of relationship/friendship with this woman once my child is legally back in my custody. She really seems to be the one with the problems. I understand being a truck driver is a rough life, but it is a life that she chooses to do. She chain smokes cigarettes, pops pain pills (has to find extra), drinks heavily, and uses cocaine often. She also has a habit of telling me one thing and turning around and doing another. Yet I am the one with problems? Her betrayal did not help in my recovery process at all and made it that much harder for me to recover, with the thought that my son didn't have a choice in the matter, and neither did I. 
  • @pandaheart. i'm sorry you are having to contend with so much concerning your son.  toxic relationships can be very crazy. a true narcissist can make you feel crazy for sure.  i have dealt with emotional abuse and stayed there for five years. it's not because i wanted to stay there because inside i was miserable, but i was very insecure due to a divorce and my kids leaving me because i came out as a lesbian.  

    oftentimes narcissists will attract codependent people, or those with low self worth and the toxic cycle starts....this is why some women will get together with an abusive person, break up  and then go right into another abusive relationship. it's like a magnet and there is a great book called "The Human Magnet Syndrome" by Ross Rosenberg that is excellent on the topic.

    @androl. i'd say i became severely depressed and had chronic anxiety. i began a journey to recover from codependency by attending Codependents Anonymous. I also got counseling and I was determined to grow strong emotionally so I could leave that relationship and then take some time single to get ME together...it's been about a year and a half and i'm happy to say my life is amazing and i've healed and grown so much.

    dealing with a true narcissist is tough. most will never see that they are so controlling...and yes, they make you feel crazy. i remember trying to set and keep a boundary..(scared to death, mind you) and then by the end of the conversation...i'd feel like i was crazy for bringing it up and i'd be the one apologizing!! what??? omg. crazy.

    @pandaheart. take care of you first. stay clean and sober and do your best to detach from your ex.  you are important and you must take care of you so you can be the best for your son.


    rooting for you.
  • Thanks @dominica! I really appreciate your support. But I did want to point out she was not an ex. She was a dear friend who liked to watch my son for me while I worked. She has an attachment to my son that I feel has become unhealthy, which is why she has done the things she has. I have nothing against Lesbians, but the fact that she has never had a stable relationship of her own with her girlfriends (and usually when she gets with someone, this woman has kids and a downhill marriage) is a good sign to me that she is trying to bully me into giving up on myself to allow her to be his legal guardian.

    I will stay sober and in good health. After all, I only have 12 more years before my son will be able to legally make his own decisions, and I have already lost too much time with him. It's not about what I want to do anymore, it's about what I have to do for him. I sincerely appreciate the support :] 
  • hey @pandaheart! sorry for the confusion on my part... :/  i'm glad to hear that you are so optimisitc!! yes! keep it up girl!
  • Yes. I had a friend who was so self-absorbed, obsessed by her body image and always criticizing others. She only talked to me when she needed my help. But when she didn't, she was constantly making fun of me, and of any aspect (even my eyebrows, which are pretty normal). Now I see her from time to time on the street, she doesn't even say hi to me. She is not a very nice person at all.
  • Having been a victim of covert narcissistic abuse myself for over a decade, I can certainly relate to all the comments on this thread. It's good that some people like @dominica can find the necessary help to overcome it and yes, narcissistic abuse causes all sorts of health problems and symptoms for victims, sometimes both physical and mental. Unfortunately, there is no help whatsoever available in the UK for this kind of thing. What drives me mad is that people think that if someone is a 'narcissist' then you will be able to tell within a short period of time which, of course, couldn't be further from the truth. It can up to a decade or more to find out that someone is a narcissist. Anyone who thinks they may have dealt with a narcissist only a year or two after knowing them is probably just dealing with an abuser and not a narcissist.

    @pandaheart Yep, that's narcissistic abuse alright. Contradicting themselves in the same sentence!
  • Yes I have been victim to narc abuse. It's really shaped my whole life and persona. It's hard to know who to blame even for things I want to change in myself, I think something is just my fault but then find I was purposefully shaped that way by the narc. Or something I think the narc did to me, turns out to be truly my own insecurity, and nothing to do with them. It is confusing and difficult to work through, because it is like I am dealing with two people, one is the "me" the narc formed, then the other is possibly the real "me" that would have formed if the narc wasn't controlling me - but it is so hard to tell the difference. 
  • @androl ;  yes that is exactly correct, it can take a decade to determine that someone is a narcissist, but I can pretty much guarantee once you have experienced one, you will see any others very easily. That once bitten thing I guess.

    @diane ; yes I agree there are times where the interaction with a narcissist leaves a person feeling split, this is exactly the right words. It is as if the person you were, or really want to be, begins to feel like a wrong choice. So naturally we try to please the one we love by being more of the person we think we could be (but maybe are not really ) In my case it was not that I got weaker, it is that i got more determined on the things i was going to do despite their opinion. I never knew in my marriage that he was a narcissist, nor did i know my mother was a narcissist. What it took was a lightening bolt from left field to make me realize that there are people like this, that they are toxic and that they can be very dangerous. It is very true that a narcissist, like a vampire are attracted to your blood. It is as if they know you will be a good supply. What I will not do is compromise my better qualities because of my experience, not everyone in the world has a personality disorder. My point being, I never felt I needed to change the person I am because I could be a target for a future narcissist, Now that I know what they are and what they do, I can avoid them.
  • Yes. I was in a relationship for several years with someone who showed all those tendencies. It took me a long time to realize that he was just a bad person and the things he was making me believe about myself weren't true. It's hard to break free of that kind of abuse.
  • I can’t say for sure that I grew up with a narcissist, but someone in my family did seem to display some of the traits. At the very least, this person has always been selfish, inconsiderate, and insensitive. Even those characteristics can be pretty damaging to others. Can’t even say I was abused, exactly, though perhaps that’s just me being stoic and not wanting to lessen others’ experiences as I know there are plenty of people who have had it worse. In any case, it did take me quite a while to be able to shake most of it off. And on occasion it still flares up.

    Even to this day, this person expects to be catered to, when it’s really not warranted. Or this person will degrade someone and treat them like dirt, only to turn around and make all nicey-nice when someone has something this person wants. It’s just much easier to let it go these days, though sometimes I need reminding that it has nothing to do with me.
  • I have always felt that  the feelings of a victim all have to deal with perspective. Depending on your perspective you might not feel like a victim at all, I think that is what the narcissist is after, they want to twist your head so that you actually start to believe their strange distortion on the world. Maybe sometimes they do that just for fun, and when you call them on it they act like they have no idea what in the world you are even talking about. This all under the guise of gas lighting.

    I think the thing I noticed once I got out of these situations was how stealthily things like our religious upbringing was wove into the context of the things going on. How can you feel bad about something when there are people in the world with so much less and suffering so much more-  Just a whole barrage of guilkt inducing thoughts designed to keep you from wandering to far from the path they want you on. It all seems so clear hindsight.

  • @diane
    Yep, that's exactly what a narcissist does to you; they split your identity so that you become confused - you become who they want you to be (co-dependent) rather than who you actually are. They steal your identity in this sense. They want you to believe that it's your fault, that you are the weak one and that the insecurities are yours - but that's projection; they offset all of their own problems on to you and make you seem like the crazy one. In reality, they're just manipulating you and getting you to feel how they do deep beneath all the deceit.

    Yep, that's true. Once you've dealt with one narcissist for long enough (or should I say put up with their narcissistic abuse for long enough), you will easily be able to recognize the signs in the future and you certainly won't be willing to go through all that again!
  • @androl ;  I think that might be easier said then done, it is the true personality of the victim that is the beacon for a narcissist. The experience with one might change you somewhat, but i don't think it will change you to the core. i never felt I needed to change the person I really am because of what the narcissistic people in my life have said I am or otherwise. As far as going thru it again in the future with someone else, it is true you now know what it is all about and will see it right away, equally it is true that those narcissists that you have already attracted will not easily let you go away. Even no contact is not enough, they find you and they will try to convince you they have changed. Maybe for awhile they leave you alone, a year maybe more, but like a bad penny they will turn up again somehow in some form.

    I think if a study were ever to be done on people that managed to get free from a narcissistic relationship, it would find that those folks are probably more apt to be alone  then to have graduated to a healthy relationship. Maybe it is the PTSD?
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