Guest Post: Lindsay’s Story


I would never hurt you.

The murder of your soul starts slowly, so slowly you may not even notice it. Notice that you give up yourself so willingly to appease, to seek approval, to make him happy, to get his approval, his kindness – if just for a few minutes, you feel good because you made him feel loved, good, and special. But, then where did you go? Your soul seeps out slowly as he pulls you toward him and then pushes you away. Turns you on like a switch when he wants you. When he is done playing with you, he will put you in a box on a shelf and shut the door, taking you out only when he wants to play again – only when he needs you to make him feel good about himself. Slowly and insidiously your soul is sucked from you, pulled away from your true self and placed in a container. A container he holds. He doles out pieces, pieces of you, and you grab at them and try to hold onto them as if they were gifts of love, compassion, and your ‘one-ness’ with him. Soon he doles out criticisms, anger, and judgmental comments. These are the negative pieces from the container, but you still grab at these as if they were gifts of love because these criticisms are followed by the words you so want to hear “I love you. I am so sorry. I am only trying to help you. I can only think analytically. I am not good at this or showing you or telling you that he I love you….that’s just who I am” he says.

The isolation begins. You start to lose sight of who you are, who you have been, who you used to be, and who you want to be. You only want to focus on how to manage him, manage his feelings, so he is happy, contented, pleased – so he won’t leave. Because if he left his first wife, what makes you think he won’t leave you? Why do you think you are immune to his behaviors? You need him to approve of you, so that he will not be angry with you, and so you won’t lose anything else – no other pieces or parts of your soul will be murdered or sucked from you. All the while you are losing pieces of yourself and your soul to this black hole of confusion – to this vortex of evil and darkness until you can no longer see a way out, no longer see the light, joy, and the goodness of life. Everywhere you look you see losses. You lose touch with your family, with your children, with yourself. You tell yourself that you are doing this for them – the children, the family – to give them a ‘better’ life. You are living a false and painful life. You isolate yourself because you feel so badly about yourself and who you have become – your false/inauthentic self. You do not want anyone to know. You are ashamed. He isolates you more because he wants to own you and possess you. You are his property. You hide because you are living a lie, and you are afraid that your loved ones will see the false self. See that you are acting. You have just become the perfect pawn in his game. He will divide, conquer, and consume you. Your loneliness and isolation becomes palpable. He can feel it, almost taste, and it gives him power! Make no mistake – this is his game and he will win at all costs – that is his goal! He is not pursuing a healthy, nurturing loving relationship – he is playing the game, and you my dear, are the ultimate prize!

Isolation leads to a fragmented self, a loss of self as you are further beaten down into submission.

You start to believe that it is your fault he cannot give you more….give you what you need. But, if you listen really close, you will hear his true words – he cannot give you more because he IS incapable – does not matter why or why not – it’s truly not you. It is him. You are not innocent here. You gave yourself up earnestly, but you did it in the name of being good, kind, and loving – and because you wanted to protect yourself. Protect yourself, so that he would not take any more of you, so that he would not yell and scream at you, so that he would not belittle you or steal your last bit of self-respect. Ironically, you give up pieces of yourself (and ultimately all of yourself) in order to hold onto some semblance of self-respect and a shred of self-esteem. Why? Because YOU love him. But, he told you and showed you ALL along what he could and could not give – these are the signs – the warning signs you should have seen them. So, then is it really your fault because you were not ‘schooled’ in his game. You thought you would help him and love him, and then he would give you the safety and love you so craved. But, he could not and never will because he IS incapable!

With that realization – the realization of the TRUTH – the isolation takes you deeper into the pain and confusion.

His game is always to confuse, to catch you off guard, and to startle you. Confusion is his power.


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15 Responses to Guest Post: Lindsay’s Story

  1. Erickson

    “Enlightenment is always preceded by confusion”. Ironically, this quote is by the great hypnotherapist Milton H Erickson. There comes a day when we look at it as a lesson to learn.

  2. April

    You have captured it all perfectly. Thank you!

  3. Samantha

    This post brought me to tears. So incredibly true and so incredibly sad. And you couldn’t be more correct about the confusion. That is their weapon. I once asked my ex-narcissist boyfriend (before I knew he was one) why his behavior towards me was so hot and cold. His reply, “It keeps you on your toes.” A recipe for crazy-making.

    As heart-wrenching and difficult as it is to accept (and as your photo captured), we have to see them as snakes. We don’t hate snakes for what comes naturally to them – but we do stay clear of them to avoid their bite and venom. I’m still struggling with that hard-learned lesson.

  4. Cinnamon Girl

    “You only want to focus on how to manage him, manage his feelings…”

    Wow – just w0w – spot on about me trying to manage him so the Mr. Nice Guy Mask will not slip. Thank you for the reality check.

  5. cindy lu

    Made me cry too Samamtha… described all of the men…yes I had more than one of these monsters sucking the life out of me for nearly 30 years of my precious life… I am terrified of men now… and I struggle with the feelings of hate and anger… I tried to date again recently and yesterday was devalued in a horrible, familiar way… not cool… getting stronger… getting away a lot sooner this time… Alex and the army is so helpful…

  6. Shannon

    This post…. No, this whole blog made me angry. I want to thank you for that. It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve felt anything other than guilt, frustration and helplessness. This post and so many others in this blog have made me see him for what he is. He is evil personified. And I hate him. I hate him so much! I hate his constant little quips, his snipes, his carefully worded double entendres, so perfectly timed and eloquently spoken to inflict as much pain and subtle tortue as possible. I hate his unrelenting, unending accusations and guilt trips! I hate how much he has taken over my life, and how much of my life, my love and energy is wasted on his “feelings” and desires. I hate him for not even being able to use my own name on this post because that vulture is forever circling above my head, hovering over me, waiting for any little crumb to fall which looks even remotely to him like something he can twist into a betrayal, to be further twisted and honed into yet another weapon against me. I hate how he has everyone around us fooled, how he has turned even my best friends into his adoring fan club, so that they all think I’m the mentally deranged one, and I have no options to escape this vampire’s lair. I hate how I have to hide any laughter and joy I have in my life from him and his infinite leeching tentacles so he can’t suck that into his hellish empty vortex he calls a soul. Most of all, I hate myself for letting him do this to me. For not seeing him for what he truly is long before now. But he won’t break me. I refuse to let that happen. I have too much to live for; too much to give; too much to hold onto and cherish to ever let him break me. He isn’t worth it. Not even one of my tears. I will rise above this, and I will endure until I can finally be free. I see him now. No more smoke and mirrors. When he pretends to be what I want, he’s really mirroring me; the good qualities I have, the good, honest, loyal, thoughtful, compassionate person I am, which he can never be. So in the end, it isn’t him I love, it’s myself. And thanks to all of you, I see that now, and he will never take that away from me. He is weak. He is empty, he is nothing. His Kung fu is not strong. Laugh Out Loud!!!! Thank you!!!!! :)

    • Astrid

      WOW Shannon,Great post!!I love it!!

    • sarah

      Took the words right out of my mouth. Especially about him marshalling all your friends and making them believe you are the crazy one. I am dealing with the same plight. Perhaps there is some truth to it, though; I have certainly done some crazy things in response to his cruel mind games and emotional abuse. That is the worst part for me; knowing how crazy I acted (just text messages, but boy, was I mean-completely annihilated him-all true, but still very harsh) He has my friends believing I was enraged that he dumped me. Ha!! If only he’d done it a year ago when he first dragged me into his cesspool of abuse and shame. I am struggling to regain some sense of self worth. Hope I find it.

    • Joaniee

      OMG exactly my thoughts!!! Exactly what happened to me… MY hobbies MY interests…. HE has nothing HIS… just IMITATION !!!! FUUUCK***

      Y know what I mean? Yes it happened to me with my best friends as well.. actually I went out because they were just as caught in the Mirage and lies and entourage… you cannot have anything healthy and different as long as they sdtay in the same sh*** Y KNOW?

      Let his mother have him!! By the balls see if I care

      I took my life back before and I will do it now because I know too much.. and I ve been through too much and like you. He imitates me my tastes (and others tastes ) and then devalues them !!! same cycle! I got out. But Im so so angry …. I lost so much to a Nothing.

      But I know what drives him wild and stupid… something that it cant be Bought… its called Genuine.. Happiness. As long as it takes. Im gonna bring it back, MY SMILE my life FUCK HIM AND HIS FAMILY OF PSYCHOPATHS

      <3 your post !!! 😀

  7. cindy lu

    Best of luck to you Shannon… There is a wonderful life waiting for us…. Rebuilding a life is better than losing your soul to a toad… I am so thankful that Auntie Alex wrote some awesome books and very grateful for the honesty and strength of other survivors… I am moving forward and that is a miracle…

  8. Carmen

    I read this 4 times, then printed it and are going to show it to my children when the time is right. I just can’t seem to explain to them what happened to us, because I didn’t understand it myself. I can now.

    Thank you so much…..I wasted so many years not seeing I was being conditioned. I considered myself a very strong woman. Now I have to figure out how the hell I let it all happen.

  9. Margo

    Wow! This is definitely spot-on. You couldn’t have described it more perfectly. It made me cry. I spent 15 years with an idiot like this. After trying to get him to go to counseling at year 13 and being told we didn’t need it because nothing was wrong, I went by myself. I figured I could “fix” our marriage. I did everything else, so why not do this too. I was still in love with him.

    Counseling was eye opening. After two weeks, I realized that I was living with a full blown Narcissist that had been verbally and emotionally abusing me for years, as well as gaslighting me.

    First I felt like a failure. How could I have let him do this to me? He had sucked everything out of me and I didn’t even realize it. It had affected me tremendously as well as our kids.

    After a few months I decided that I needed to get divorced. The more I learned about this N the more I saw how he was controlling EVERYTHING and I hated him for it. I could see my 10 year son turning into him and my younger son backing down like I always did. I knew that was not normal and I needed to get the three of us out of there.

    I interviewed lawyers until I found one I liked. I saved money. I got all the paperwork in order. I even had my mom ready to take us if we had to make a getaway. (things were escalating)

    One night when I asked to talk to him about us, he threw a fit. He put earplugs in his ears and said he never had to listen to me again. I went out to the family room, had a good cry and called the lawyer first thing the next morning. Within a week the papers were filed.

    I came home from work a few weeks later and he was sitting on the sofa with the papers in his hand. He looked at me and said “why didn’t you talk to me about this first?”

    Really? Just another gaslighting attempt on his part.

    I’m out two years, waiting for the divorce to be finalized. He told me he would make me wait and he is. He doesn’t believe the custody agreement really applies to him and pushes it just to the point to where I would have to call the lawyers or the police, and then does what he is supposed to do. He is Super dad with them and it irritates the hell out of me, because he really didn’t care about the kids when we were together.

    On the other hand, I have found my inner warrior again! I take care of myself and my kids as best I can. I do my best to ignore him. No contact would be great, but its difficult with kids. He can still push my buttons on occasion. I feel so much stronger and smarter. I have done alot of reading on N’s and that really helps me protect myself.

    I also have a wonderful support system of family and friends. Some who couldn’t believe all that I had been through – because of that facade you put up when living in this type of relationship. I honestly couldn’t count all the times I put a happy face on and fooled everyone.

    My kids are better too. Happier, less stressed, more confident, getting better grades. All the things that come from being in a healthy state!

    If you are with a N – figure out how to get out. You do not deserve to suffer. You deserve to be happy!

  10. Lily

    Lindsay, you have a lot of insight into this. You aren’t confused, even though he has tried so hard to confuse you. So you really are on the way to getting over it. I have been there, I also once had a relationship with someone like this. I got out after 8 months—after getting back together with him once—because I was miserable and I also, like yourself, saw through him. What made me leave was this: I figured what is the point of being with someone and being so terribly, terribly miserable? I can be miserable on my own, and maintain hope of things getting better, and of feeling less miserable in the future. Actually, I can be a lot LESS miserable on my own! You have a relationship to be feel better than you do on your own. So what’s the point of being with someone like this? Ask yourself—are you happy? No. Then it’s OVER, whether you leave immediately or not. Yes, you’ll be miserable afterwards. Yes, it will be hard. But you WILL get past it. If you aren’t happy, it doesn’t matter why he did things, why he is like this. I told myself this many times and finally let go. I PROMISE you, that what you will miss, what you are missing now—is the promise of a real, true love—the carrot that he dangled. You will miss the fantasy of what he pretended to be. But you won’t miss the person, I guarantee it. Because the person was NEVER WHAT YOU REALLY WANTED. Remember—it’s not that HE doesn’t want you. In fact, YOU don’t really like who he is, or what the relationship is all about. He is actually happy with things. That was a wake-up call for me. (Sorry for the capital letters—just trying to make a point as a person who has been there!). Lots of us have been conditioned to accept situations that make us so miserable–family experiences and other bad things that have happened make us feel that this is all there is, all that can be– we think we have to accept all of this in the name of love, that we don’t deserve anything better. Or that nothing better is actually possible. None of this matters. All that matters is that you are unhappy and that this prick is making you miserable. That is ENOUGH to put an end to it. You will suffer when it’s over, yes. But it is better to suffer on your own, without this person, and eventually get over it, than it is to continue to suffer WITH this person in your life and never have any chance of getting over it. Remember–at the end of the day, he his happy with this kind of a relationship. YOU are the one who is rejecting him, YOU are the one who does not want him (the reality and not the fantasy)—and rightly so—because he is totally and utterly crap. I hope this thought is empowering for you—it was for me!

  11. Nansee

    Perfectly said!

  12. Julesann

    I know it’s been awhile since that post, Lindsay, but it was POWERFUL! Thanks so much! I read it at a time I really needed to to keep things in perspective. I’m in and out of the fog but I believe more out than in, at least today. One day at a time for me….

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