Ok, you’ve identified the narcissists in your life by reading my last post. Now what? What to do? Should you stay? Should you go? Well, let me help you out.
First of all, let me say sorry for this late post. I’ve been trying to release my posts on Thursday mornings, but as you can tell — I haven’t been very successful at it. Besides my regular job, I’ve been moving into my fiancee’s house, putting all of my stuff in a storage unit, getting ready for my trip to Brazil (I’ll be visiting my family soon! 🙂 ), working on my quarterly taxes, and taking CEU classes to renew my license. Phew! My life is upside down and sideways right now. But hey, at least I made it today. It is still Thursday after all, right? 🙂
I do wonder though, if Thursdays are the way to go, or if I should go back to releasing my posts on the weekends… can you please let me know on the comments below?
In my last post, I talked about a letter that a narcissist wrote to himself. I made a youtube video reading the entire letter. In case you’d like to check it out, here is the video in English, and here is the video in Portuguese. Some people wrote on the comments that they didn’t think that the guy who wrote the letter was a narc, because “narcissists never admit to being who they are.”
While I agree 100% with that statement, we can’t forget that he wrote that letter to himself (as he stated in the letter, “to impress himself”), thinking that NO ONE was going to read it. He misplaced that notebook and somehow it ended up in my hands. I think that was exactly the reason to why he wrote the letter in pencil, actually. He thought that one day those words were going to dissipate into the Universe.
Last week I saw my therapist and read that letter to him. He agreed with me that that guy is a full blown narcissist. My therapist was funny… I asked him: “Would you like me to read it to you?” and he said: “PLEASE!!”. Lol.
Overt And Covert Narcissists
After watching this video, you now know that there are 2 types of narcissists. One of them is easy to spot because they WANT us to know that “they are the best”, “they are right”, “they know everything”, “they are the best-looking person of the group”. [eye rolling]
The danger though comes when we are dealing with covert narcissists. This type of narcissist goes unnoticed and we end up becoming manipulated, losing sight of who we even are!
Covert narcissists pretend to be codependent. They pretend to need you, they buy you things, they nicely ask for your help, they tell you what you want to hear, etc. And little by little, as you think that that person has your best interest, they are actually making a trap around you. Just like a spider would build a web waiting for their prey. And who are narcissists’ prey? Empaths.
Here is a definition of the word “empathetic” from dictionary.com: “Empathetic of, relating to, or characterized by empathy, the psychological identification with the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of others.”
This means that Narcissists (overt and covert) look for sensitive people who can feel other people’s pain, happiness, and all of the other feelings.
So why do they pretend to need you? So that they can make sure that you won’t let them go. Because they know that you know how it feels to need someone… because you are an empath.
Why do they buy you things? To make you believe that you are important to them, when in fact, they will buy you something and announce it on facebook that they bought you something. And then everyone will tell him that “he is so nice for having bought you this or that”. (See how it’s not about you?)
Why do they ask you for your help or opinion? Not because they don’t think that they can do something or solve a particular problem themselves, but because they need to know how you think so that they can manipulate you further. But you, being the empathetic person that you are, think that they are valuing your opinion…. tricky, huh?
Why do they tell you what you want to hear? That one is easy: Manipulation 101.
That’s why it is so important to be aware of the people in our lives: family members, co-workers, friends, boss, partner, etc. Especially if you are someone who can easily put yourself in someone else’s shoes… be careful not to find yourself trapped in someone’s web one day.
What To Do?
So let’s say that now you know you’ve been trapped. What to do, right?
- This person may be your boss…. you are not going to leave your job!
- This person may be your husband/wife… you can’t break your vows!
- This person may be your father or mother… they will always be!
Well, what if I told you that those people decided to prey on you ESPECIALLY because they hold that title over your head?? You are an empath. They know that you are sensitive and would never leave them!
- What kind of daughter are you to stop talking to your father?
- What kind of husband/wife/partner are you to not try a little bit harder?
- What kind of employee are you to leave your job “for no reason”?
Day after day, we will keep on giving them excuses. Maybe they will change… maybe they will realize what they have done… maybe they will notice you… maybe they will give you that promotion that they have been promising…
No. They won’t. Narcissists will say and do what they need to say and do just so they can enjoy feeling in control. They love having you in their hands as if you were their little puppets while they run this show called “Your Life”.
I know, I know… this sounds harsh.
If you are a little bit like I used to be, the thought of leaving them will make you kinda sick to your stomach. You will feel bad not because you may miss them, but because you’ll think that you are hurting/upsetting THEM by leaving!!
See, they’ve trained you to put them first and yourself last. That’s why you think this way! So you try to not hurt or upset them by continuing to be manipulated and abused emotionally and mentally by them. Isn’t that twisted? I know you think so.
But what if you know you need to leave, but you don’t think you can? That simply means that the narcissist made YOU codependent on them while they pretended to be codependent on you. They made you believe that you can’t make your own decisions (you are stupid), that you are inadequate (you don’t fit in), that you are ugly (no one else will want you). They may have even made you stop believing your own 5 senses!!
I can’t even count how many times my ex-husband told me that no one else in the world would want me. And still, he would say: “I don’t love you, I don’t like you, and I don’t even care about you.” Why would he say those things? For me to stick around trying to prove myself to him, to show him that I was, in fact, a good person, for him to give me a chance. [shaking my head]
One day I got home early from work and saw him from the parking lot of the apartment we lived in, through the open window. He was drinking a beer from the bottle. When I went inside, I asked him what led him to decide to start drinking again (he is an alcoholic and I was trying to help him through it). He said to me: “I haven’t drunk since last week!”
I told him that I had seen him from the window, 2 min prior, but he continued to lie to me…. and at the end of the day, I remember staring at the ceiling, feeling completely ashamed, inadequate; doubting my own vision and mental health.
Two days later, I found the receipt for a 6-pack Bud Light that he had bought at 7-Eleven the day that I saw him drink. That’s when I realized that no, I wasn’t going crazy.
This is just one example of gas-lighting. Narcissists make things up to cover themselves or just to feel in control, for no reason at all. They are pathological liers. They convince you and you end up believing them, thinking that you are going nuts. If you are nuts, you will depend on them not to be. If you depend on them, they will have full control of you. Gas-lighting is another form of manipulation that narcs use.
How to Leave A Narcissist
Here are the steps that you need to take once you’ve realized that you are in the hands of a narcissist:
- Cut the strings of codependency. Realize that you are much more than what they tell you that you are. Understand that your life will be much better once you are out of that toxic relationship;
- Continue to play their game. Do not confront them. Play dumb. Keep acting the same way you did before, but now with a different outlook on things. Narcissists are vindictive and, if you try to expose them or tell them what they’ve done to you, etc, they will either manipulate you into staying, or they will make you pay for it;
- Get ready. Talk to someone you trust and tell them your situation. Now it’s not time to feel inadequate. Ask and accept the help of a true friend or family member. Tell them that soon you will need a place to stay for a little while;
- Gather important things. Put together a bag with your (and your kid’s, if that’s the case) valuable things:
- marriage certificate,
- birth certificate,
- social security card,
- a set of clothes,
- important pictures,
- any type of clue or proof that you may have, and
- cash. Do not go to the ATM machine. Instead, over the course of a month, pay for merchandise with your debit card, and opt for “money back” every time you make a purchase. This way you can collect some cash without the narc realizing what you are about to do;
- Set a date and get the heck out. There’s never going to be a “right” moment to do it. You just need to do it. Get your kid (s) and go! Call that friend you previously talked to, set a date, and follow through with it. You may feel bad and you will definitely feel uncomfortable, but you need to put yourself first for a change. It’s ok to take care of yourself and stop being abused. This may not be what’s familiar to you, but trust me: it’s easier to get used to being treated well than not;
- Don’t forget your pets. A lot of times, narcs take revenge on the people and things that we love the most, including our pets. So, please, don’t leave them behind;
- Expect your things to be thrown away or destroyed. When the narc realizes what has happened, he/she may end up throwing out everything that belongs to you, as if you were never a part of their life — it doesn’t matter how long you guys were together. So, make sure you took the important things with you;
- Stop using your card. Once you leave, stop using your credit card so that the narc doesn’t have access to your whereabouts.
- Open a case with the police department. Call the non-emergency police department phone number and let them know what is going on in your life. Explain to them your situation and the reasons to why you may not feel safe. They will put everything in writing and ta-da! You will have a case. Don’t forget to write down and save that case number. If one day something happens (knock on wood) and you need the police, give them that case number. That will help them help you, BIG TIME. (Also, give that case number to your friends and family members).
- Buy a prepaid phone and stop using your regular cell phone. This way the narc will not have a way to track you.
- Call your loved ones with the prepaid phone. Let them know that you are safe. Don’t tell them where you are at, and tell them not to share the new phone number with anyone.
- Cut communication with the narc. The narcissist may try to call you, to express concern. He/she may leave you messages or send you text messages (to your old phone) begging you to tell them where you are. Don’t buy into it. In fact, I would suggest you disconnect that old phone 100%. Leave it with the narc so that when he/she calls you, he/she can answer the phone too! Don’t they love to hear themselves talk? So there! They can have it.
- Move on with your life. Trust me, you’ll be thinking more about them than they will be thinking about you. They may try at first if they need something from you. But as soon as they notice that you are not going back, they will move on with their lives trying to find another person to prey on.
If you have kids, you STILL need to leave with your kids without saying a word, then contact the police and a lawyer. From there, they will tell you what to do.
In the case that the narc is a member of your family, such as your father, for example, of course, they will always play a role in your life. What you can do is limit your communication with them. Don’t call them. Don’t feel bad for not calling them. Don’t feel guilty (I know you will, you are an empath!). But try, as hard as you can, to stay away. Let them do all the talking. Don’t share your life with them so that they have minimal control over what’s going on in your life.
Last year, I talked to my therapist about disconnecting myself from a narc family member. I told him how guilty I was going to feel if I cut communication with him… and my therapist asked me:
“Are you going to feel bad if you don’t talk to him?” – Yes.
“Are you going to feel bad if you do talk to him? – Yes…
And then he said to me: “So choose how you want to feel bad!”
Truth is, if I choose not to talk to him, I may hurt, but I know what I’m doing and why I’m doing it: I will still have control over my life and my decisions. When I talk to him and he hurts my feelings by emotionally blackmailing me, gas-lighting me, or mentally abusing me, I have no control over it. The outcome of how he makes me feel will affect me for a much longer time.
For that reason, I choose to make myself feel bad, every now and then when I miss him and not contact him.
One day, I gave in and called him. He reminded me in the first 3 minutes of that conversation why I was trying to cut communications with him. :/
I hope that you found this post useful. It is all based on my life experience.
Please stay safe out there. Put yourself first. Start being empathetic towards YOURSELF! So leave… and don’t look back.
Much love and peace being sent your way,
Disease Prevention Advocate, Blogger, Author, Speaker, Certified Holistic Health and Wellness Coach by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Board Certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and Licensed Medical Massage Practitioner by the Virginia Board of Nursing