Our partner

Stages of recovery for victims of NPD love-relationships

Forum for significant others, family and friends of people with mental illness to discuss relevant issues they face.

Moderators: masquerade, xdude, orion13213

Forum rules
This is a support forum for the family, partners and friends of those with mental health issues. This forum is intended to be a safe place to discuss information, give and receive support and learn about all the issues related to being involved with a person with a disorder. Whilst it can be healthy to express various emotions, please remember to be respectful about the disorder itself. This is a place for constructive discussions, not a venting forum.

The issues experienced by the significant others of those with disorders cannot always be discussed in the other parts of the site in a way that does not trigger those with disorders. Moderators may therefore move threads from other forums into this one at their discretion.

Stages of recovery for victims of NPD love-relationships

Postby Serendipity » Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:42 pm

Recovery for Victims of NPD Partners
(For those unfamiliar with NPD and searching for answers, what we post may seem a little dramatic, but NPD is one of the least studied and most misunderstood of the personality disorders. Most people in the general public know little to nothing of what NPD is really about until they have the bad luck of becoming entangled with someone who has it. For those of you who ARE familiar with the disorder, you have my utmost sympathies).



The following is a non-scientific observation with absolutely NO empirical data to back it up. Just some personal observations.

Stages of recovery for victims of NPD:

1. Realization: In the beginning, it was a dream come true. The most intoxicating earth-shattering love imaginable. Then came the 1st crack in perfection. An inexplicable rage in your partner that seemed way out of line with the circumstance.

Then, maybe you remember that moment when it finally dawned on you that "something" was not right. At first, you thought you were dealing with a person who had 2 sides to him: A good side and a bad (conflicted) side. You figured others (the ones who warned you) didn't understand the underlying good person. You thought you could be the person who made that person whole: At least that's what he told you.

In a short period of time, you went from being perfection in his eyes, to a person who could do nothing right. You walked on eggshells avoiding anything that might set him off. You lived for the moment that things would go back to the way they were.

The fights were confusing. Sometimes you didn't even know what you'd done to anger him. The rages became more freuqent and began to resemble abuse (verbal or physical). The lies were the most confusing because sometimes they were about things so insignificant, there was no point to the lie. He made you think that YOU were the one with "memory problems" and at one point, you actually thought it might be true that you were losing it. (You were a victim of gaslighting).

The more dominant he became, the more submissive you became...losing yourself in the process.

Then one day, perhaps via the Internet or a magazine article, or TV special....you became aware of NPD and suddenly you realized you weren't alone and there was an actual disorder associated with the person you thought you knew.

2. Denial: You researched NPD and because the prognosis for it is so bleak, you continually searched for a different (more treatable) disorder.

You left him, then fell victim again, and "danced the dance" over and over again until your emotions were so sapped that you were at the point of breakdown yourself.

You drove your family and friends crazy talking about it constantly. This also served to make you look like a complete idiot everytime you once again fell for his manipulative declarations of love and change.

Eventually you realized that your partner was a Narccissist and you were terrified.

3. Anger at the N: You began to uncover all the lies and deceptions. The anger was overwhelming. How could he act that way to someone who had given so much of themselves? You were so angry that you had constant thoughts and even nightmares about him. You watched as he continued his routine of expoitation with others and even thought of "outing" this master of deception to the rest of the world.

4. Anger at yourself: (The most difficult stage of all.) You began to feel like an idiot for having let yourself be so obviously deceived. You realized you were going to have to eat mud, because many of your friends warned you that he was not what he seemed. You became deeply depressed and had a long road ahead recuperating the part of yourself that you sacrificed to an illusion. The fact that you finally realized he and your relationship was only an illusion, only served to depress you more deeply.

5. Coming to terms: You made a complete emotional (and hopefully physical) break from him. At this point he didn't even like you anymore as you weren't supplying NS, anyway. You started to pick up the pieces and regain the inner strength you previously had. You networked and your friends began to enjoy the fact that you had something to talk about that didn't involve your "N." You started to laugh again and enjoy the things you'd unconsciously given up. You began to feel like a valuable person again.

Oddly enough, this for many, was a dangerous moment because with your new strength, you became once again "attractive/valued" to your "N." But this time you knew enough to know that he was a "Soul Without Footprints" and the person you thought existed was a figment of his own imagination mixed in with a little wishful thinking on your part.

So you walked away, half-healed, but still slightly marred by self-doubt. Perhaps you began to see NPD EVERYWHERE...even when it wasn't merited.

But most important, you came to know you were involved with a person with an illness of the emotions that can rarely be treated....and it wasn't your fault.

*Note: And although the disorder is not his fault and empathy can not be surgically transplanted, he is well aware of the harm and hurt he causes. He just honestly doesn't care because he does not have the capacity to actually feel what others feel...only what he himself feels. N's are emotional predators. They will steal your heart to aquire your happiness, money, prestige....or whatever it is that feeds their NS needs.

6. True Recovery: One day you wake up and find that you honestly don't care anymore. It is the most liberating feeling imaginable. You realize that normal people are everywhere and your brush with this previously unimaginable individual or anyone else like him, is not likely to ever happen again.

You are now ready to resume life. Make lemonade from the lemons in your life. Use the information you unwillingly aquired, as a life-lesson. Use it to realize that you are one of the luckiest people in the world because YOU have the ability to laugh and enjoy life. YOU have a second chance at happiness. The "N" probably never will. If perchance you have a need for revenge...that in itself should suffice.
User avatar
Serendipity
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 244
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:03 pm
Local time: Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:36 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: Stages of recovery for victims of NPD love-relationships

Postby smilee » Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:10 pm

Wow, I've read this over & over, that's it.....you got it down. :wink:
smilee
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 3:05 pm
Local time: Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:36 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Stages of recovery for victims of NPD love-relationships

Postby cheshire » Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:04 pm

so, is there anyone who has actually made it to the 6th step? i've seen the stages written about plenty of times; usually by people that end right back where they started (seeking understanding online).
The Ann Landers of NPD
cheshire
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 560
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:46 pm
Local time: Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:36 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Stages of recovery for victims of NPD love-relationships

Postby danica » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:10 pm

I read this last night and got chills up my spin as to how eerily accurate it is ... DEAD on at least for me. I'm at half at step 5 but terrified still of step 6.

I've sat here for days now researching and trying to "understand". Cognitively I know it's not moving me forward and yet there is this deep need inside to comprehend what's happened to my own mind and inner being as a result of all the toxicity and insanity.
"It is excruciating pain. It is the pain of separation, the pain of loss, the pain of dreams and expectations unrealized. It is the loss and death of a mirage."
User avatar
danica
Consumer 5
Consumer 5
 
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:51 pm
Local time: Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:36 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Stages of recovery for victims of NPD love-relationships

Postby stodd1975 » Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:53 am

I also read through the list and was amazed. I too am in stage 5. I received an e-mail from my ex last week saying he wanted to have lunch with me. I stupidly said yes, but left the lunch feeling strong and very aware of him trying to manipulating me. I e-mailed him the list today to let him know that I was on my way to stage 6 and that it was time for him to move on to find his supply elsewhere. I felt very proud of myself and am happy that I know when I am ready, I will find someone who will treat me the way I deserve to be treated.

Thank you for writting that list out. Everytime I read it, it reminds me how much stronger I am and that complete recovery is right around the corner.
stodd1975
Consumer 2
Consumer 2
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 4:36 am
Local time: Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:36 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Stages of recovery for victims of NPD love-relationships

Postby danica » Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:13 am

Stodd that's awesome! Congratulations that must feel soooo empowering and wonderful. It sounds like you're almost at Stage 6.

I agree the list is sobering and motivating.
"It is excruciating pain. It is the pain of separation, the pain of loss, the pain of dreams and expectations unrealized. It is the loss and death of a mirage."
User avatar
danica
Consumer 5
Consumer 5
 
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:51 pm
Local time: Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:36 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Stages of recovery for victims of NPD love-relationships

Postby shivers » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:30 am

Oh, I'm at Stage 6, easy, no doubts, 100% there.

That list is pretty accurate, 'cept for in Stage 1, others didn't warn me. In fact, I still don't think that any others would warn me, he's too good a con with other people that they even get a whiff of how abusive he really can be behind a closed door.

Stage 2, I'd add the following "You drove your family, your friends and YOURSELF crazy talking about it all the time"

Stage 3 & 4 for me were combined. It mentions again about not listening to your friends etc. But I did listen to his family, and none of them gave me any bit of a whiff that there was or would be something wrong with him. I do recall his sister C letting a little bit of the game away when I rang her the first time that he took off with threats of suicide, and she sighed and said something like, "Oh, no, not again!" With 20/20 hindsight, I can now see that she was referring to the same things happening in his prior relationships, but it seems his whole family had pinned some hopes of him becoming 'better' through hitching up with me! So, I was never really 'angry' at myself for being duped, upset and distressed that it happened, yes, but not angry. However, during this stage, I had never felt so much anger and bitter hatred for a person ever in my life - and I doubt I ever will feel the same amount of hate and anger for another person again.

Stage 5 was me last year, and this year, definately at Stage 6. Wiser, more educated, more grounded, more aware. More ALIVE inside than I've ever really been. And doing really well in all my endeavours and I see a brighter future, for sure. Can't wait to live it. And if my life were any better I'm sure it would be illegal.... :D
shivers
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 2524
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:13 pm
Local time: Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:36 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Stages of recovery for victims of NPD love-relationships

Postby Big Bird » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:27 pm

I'm new here and want to point out that age and education have nothing to do with becoming inadvertently involved with an NPD person. I'm not young, yet not only was I gulled by the wonderful person he claimed to be at the beginning of our relationship, but I also moved in with him, sold my house, threw over $60,000 away on his place to beautify it for 'us' and, when I perceived things were NOT going well, I redoubled my efforts to please him. Now, five years into this relationship, I am old, exhausted, disappointed and, most importantly, afraid to leave because of my precarious financial situation. I'm most definitely over this man but I'm terrified of taking the door. How can I shake this paralysis?
Big Bird
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:16 pm
Local time: Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:36 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Stages of recovery for victims of NPD love-relationships

Postby danica » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:42 pm

Big Bird I'm not overly young either. I'm 42, my N is 35, four years now of loving the guy, always some "off" things but only recently blatantly obvious NPD. I'm also not usually easily deceived or controlled. Pretty feisty in the rest of my life and dealings.

You're over (to me anyway) the most difficult part. I still love mine (or who he used to be, difficult but wow loved those "highs") and care if he's okay. Congratulate yourself on overcoming the attachment emotionally.

My relationship end comes at a time when I'm financially crisis ridden as well but not relating to him (unless you count the breakdown I've had that's contributed to it). I don't know what to advise you as to the paralysis feeling. I'd recommend turning to family and friends for support as to a solid plan if that's possible. There's gotta be life somewhere after the N, and a whole lotta healing to do. I know you must feel like I do in the wasting of all those years, not to mention your financial contributions. No answers for ya here cuz I'm still doing the mental dance in my own head but that's great that you have your soul back!
"It is excruciating pain. It is the pain of separation, the pain of loss, the pain of dreams and expectations unrealized. It is the loss and death of a mirage."
User avatar
danica
Consumer 5
Consumer 5
 
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:51 pm
Local time: Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:36 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Stages of recovery for victims of NPD love-relationships

Postby Serendipity » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:54 am

Big Bird wrote:I'm new here and want to point out that age and education have nothing to do with becoming inadvertently involved with an NPD person. I'm not young, yet not only was I gulled by the wonderful person he claimed to be at the beginning of our relationship, but I also moved in with him, sold my house, threw over $60,000 away on his place to beautify it for 'us' and, when I perceived things were NOT going well, I redoubled my efforts to please him. Now, five years into this relationship, I am old, exhausted, disappointed and, most importantly, afraid to leave because of my precarious financial situation. I'm most definitely over this man but I'm terrified of taking the door. How can I shake this paralysis?


This is very true, Big Bird.

I wrote the Stages of Recovery from personal memory, although it's been 3 years since the final break.

I'm no spring chicken...consider myself to be intelligent...and most embarrasing of all: I am a Psychiatric RN (with an additional BA in psychology) and I work in a Mental Health facility. I should have known better. That must have made it all the more delightful for my own N. Imagine the satisfaction he must have obtained by deceiving a professional in the field.

I remember that fear you're talking about. But NOTHING is worse than the life you are living. Unless you are willing to confront that fear and move on, you will have to accept that nothing will ever change and this will make you responsible for your own misery.

I believe he has robbed you of your feelings of self-worth. But deep down inside, that same confident happy person still exists. Believe it or not, that person eventually re-emerges in you when you finally make the break.

I think you can do it.


cheshire wrote:so, is there anyone who has actually made it to the 6th step? i've seen the stages written about plenty of times; usually by people that end right back where they started (seeking understanding online).


I believe I reached stage 6, although it was truly difficult. For some reason, it's almost like you're under a spell and you may relapse several times. Eventually though, the pain of relapse is worse than the pain of loss. Remember, it was just an illusion anyway. Sadly, what you lost never really existed.

Those that reach stage 6 slowly begin to recover their true selves and eventually move on. Consequently, you don't see a lot of them posting on forums like these. I continue to post from time to time and read the forum frequently, because I believe that given my profession, I can use the experience to gain more knowlege and help some of my patients.
"Battle not with monsters
lest ye become a monster
and if you gaze into the abyss
the abyss gazes into you."

-Friedrich Nietzsche
User avatar
Serendipity
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 244
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:03 pm
Local time: Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:36 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Next

Return to Significant Others, Family & Friends Forum




  • Related articles
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: trophywife and 19 guests

cron