Part 10 Divorcing a Narcissist…You are a chess piece


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Man Playing Chess Game

To a narcissist, you are only a piece of his game.

Narcissists have one purpose for their victims…that purpose is to fulfill a role, to provide a service, to function as a piece on their “game board of life.” Rest assured, as I have learned, the human faces on their chess pieces WILL change, but their game never does.

Hoovering is one of the most painful realities of dealing with a narcissist, and the single reason most victims of narcissist abuse continue to stay in the relationship. “Hoovering” is named after the vacuum cleaner…and it’s exactly what it sounds like…it’s sucking the victim back into the narcissist’s control and abuse cycle.

And, yep, I fell for it. Even as late of September of this year, just a few months ago. However, I’ve come to find out that his visit to Nashville, full of promises and weepy requests for reconciliation, was only to keep me lost in this heart breaking reality, to keep me on the hook emotionally while he solidified a new “relationship.”


Ouch. That’s right, my narcissist husband has a new paramour, but has been hoovering me/triangulating me until he had her “hooked.” As we’ve been talking about how a narcissist uses everyone in their lives, keep in mind, YOU (and me) were never a loved person to the narcissist…YOU (and me) are a chess piece in the narcissist’s game. The faces on the chess pieces may change, but the games the narcissist plays do not change.

Case in point….my narcissist husband’s new paramour/victim is not a butcher, a baker, nor a candlestick maker. Just like me, she is someone who can provide a SERVICE  to the narcissist. In fact, she is providing exactly the same service that I did…that is, brand and identity building for his career.

Just like I did for my husband back when I thought we were a “team,” and were building something together, I worked hard to develop his branding and social media platform, wrote promotion articles, and I even secured his registered trademark. Now that I’m no longer there, there is a big hole to fill in order for him to realize his “career goals.”

So…guess who he “fell for”…not a person in a profession that would be no use to him such as a nurse or architect…nope. She’s a branding expert…

just. like. me.

How odd! Does my narcissist husband ONLY fall in love with/seduce branding & social media experts??? It seems so….again, how odd…right?


This poor victim is currently working on his brand, introducing him to her professional connections and allowing him to infiltrate her network of clients.

If her relationship with him is anything like mine, she’s working or “helping” for free because she is lost in the swoon of romance…or she’s doing it for a vastly reduced rate based on their new “amazing” relationship.

God, if I can give hope to anyone out there, it’s this: given time and patience, you WILL see your narcissist ex playing out the same horror story with new victims. It won’t be a new story, it will be one you are very well acquainted with after having lived it. The faces on the chess pieces will change, after all, my face was on that same chess piece. But, the game never changes for a narcissist. If you are involved with a narcissist, it is only because they find you of use.

I was very recently recommended a book on relationships, and I can NOT recommend it higher. IT IS AN ANSWER TO PRAYER. Click on it, it will take you to Amazon if you’d like a copy for yourself.



Two particular chapters in the book explained to me the fact that this relationship was always going to end up in flames and extreme heartache for me. Even if we disregard my husband’s narcissism, the book points out “fatal flaws” in relationship partners and “relationship Time Bombs.”

The signs were all right there from the beginning, but I was unable to see them. I certainly can now. Writing this blog has been my way of reconciling the realities of what happened, facing the ugly truth of the matter, and to grow in understanding so that I never go down this path again. Ugh. New paths only, okay? Okay.

Steps for Recovery:

  1. Get the book.
  2. Read it.
  3. Put your life back together
  4. Look forward to a bright, loving future with a great partner.

Remember, you are NOT a chess piece, and if you’ve found yourself being maneuvered about by a narcissist, to him/her, that’s all that you are…this is NOT a good nor healthy relationship. Nor is it normal… obviously, right? Well, it’s not so obvious when the narcissist has “hooked you” by manipulating your emotions and is making declarations of love, etc.


The one trick that narcissists use to get the most “bang for their buck” is by employing seduction. Narcissists know that if they can seduce someone, manipulate their emotions, and convince this new victim that they care for them, well, if you are that “someone” you will work your tail off for them…in exchange, you will get nothing but promises that are never kept.

Keep your chin up! Read the book. Move on to better & brighter things where you are not being used and maneuvered by a narcissist.





Part 9 The Gift of the Narcissist…How a relationship with a narcissist can change your life for the better- if you let it.


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giftAfter being involved with a person with an emotional disorder like Narcissism, at first, all you want to do is blame. They did this, they did that, they lied, manipulated, cheated, what-have-you, the list can go on and on. Well, they did do those things, so acknowledging those things to yourself and facing the bleak truth is STEP ONE.

But, no matter what you read to the contrary on “spiritual blogs,” positive affirmations and wishful thinking don’t clean up the mess these people have left behind. Avoiding the reality of what happened doesn’t FIX you, or your battered or destroyed self esteem, your destroyed financial reality, or your now destroyed trust in your own instincts.

I’m sure you’ve heard the advice that all things, and all experiences, have a purpose. Especially the painful experiences. When going through all the pain that I’ve endured over these past years, that is one bit of advice that I soundly rejected. Until….I began looking, not at my narcissist husband…but at me.

Eventually, I did discover something, something deep and hidden from myself. The new knowledge that I discovered was the silver lining in this storm cloud over my life.

I never, never, never thought I’d reach the place where I am now, right now, today. I never thought I’d be at peace with this divorce, be at peace with the pain I’ve endured these past years and especially the pain I’ve experienced in the 8 months since I filed for divorce.

When Buddhist monk Pema Chodron talks about opening yourself to annihilation, you will truly find the indestructible parts inside of yourself. The gift that the narcissist gives you is a hard and tough lesson on yourself. … Make it through alive and your life will be purified. -Patrick John Coleman

The silver lining, the knowledge about myself that I uncovered during a recent epiphany was about the way I viewed romantic relationships. This is a belief that I’ve held since girlhood and it’s the reason I was vulnerable to falling for the games and lies of a narcissist.

I’ve decided to call it, The Cinderella Lie.


Just like the childhood story, I believed that a romantic relationship was suppose to provide me with something. And the something that I needed was Belief.

On reflection, I began considering what my narcissist husband offered me. What was the “thing” that he presented to me with a metaphorical bow on top. When he was reflecting my beliefs, my yearnings, my vision of who I wanted to be, what I wanted in my life, what I wanted for my future…he was enthusiastically agreeing with all of these things. Just like a mirror, he was simply parroting back to me the things that I said that I wanted. He repeated back to me what I wanted to believe about myself, but ultimately, wasn’t quite sure if those beliefs were true.

On reflection, I finally began to ask myself…did I need to hear those things? Is that why I swallowed -hook,line,sinker- the lies that he told me? Did I need someone to believe in me, so I kept trying to believe in him?

The answer is, yes. Even at the age of 33 (my age when we first began dating), even after all of my international traveling, education, and accomplishments, I didn’t yet believe completely in myself. I didn’t believe that I was “enough” or “strong”.

This experience has striped me down to the bare core, to the essence of who I think that I am. And then it broke me down even further, to seeing myself who I actually am.

Eventually, the truly indestructible parts of myself began to shine out…and the funny thing is…those parts were there all along. :)


Now, I see me. :)  I don’t believe I would have ever reached this place, internally, without being involved with a narcissist.

I’m not finished with my evolution and I still have lots of work to do internally. But, as JK Rowling famously said, “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

If you’ve ever been involved with a narcissist, perhaps you can eventually reach this place with me. It’s one of peace, and boundless possibility. :) I hope that you do.


Part 8 So, I married a Narcissist…what does that say about me?


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When researching narcissism, I kept wondering about those who leave the relationship (or were dumped & discarded) and their lives afterwards. In a vast majority of the personal accounts that I’ve read, many victims have an extremely hard time getting past the relationship. Either they cling to the memory and confusion of what happened, or they suffer painfully from wounds caused by the narc for years, if not decades afterwards! Eeeh gad.

Why is it so hard to just chalk it up to a bad experience/ relationship/ person?


I stumbled across an interesting fact about people who become romantically involved with narcissists. But first, a quick run down of the way a narcissist operates in the world.

The narcissist seeks outside attention (good or bad) and has no moral or guilt response in the ways that they gain the attention, or approval of their “fantasy selves”. Here’s where their constant lying comes into play. Anything they need to do, or say, in order to gain that expression of approval, that’s what they are okay with doing. And, they feel no guilt about it.

But also, at the beginning of a relationship, the narcissist appears to be the most amazing listener–ever. They want to know everything about their target, hopes, dreams, insecurities, successes, plans… they want to know about it all. At first, this seems to be amazing, to find a person, a LOVE, who is truly interested in all of your humanity.


But, that’s not what they are interested in, as I came to find out…they are learning about your secret locks in order to later manipulate those things and control you. it’s pathetic, really…just pathetic. I think that’s why it’s so difficult for some people to move on, the narcissist knows all of the buttons to push, and he does push them, without consciousness or concern.

When paired with someone who has normal expectations for honesty and intimacy, well, those expectations are blown out of the water when dealing with a narcissist.


The narcissist will lie, then get caught and apologize that you misunderstood him. Then they lie more, then apologize and lie about lying, and so on and on. Yet, still, with all that lying and seeing the pain their dishonesty is obviously causing their partner, they feel nothing so awful as guilt. Often, they do feel shame, but not guilt. Guilt is an empathy emotion. Shame is personal, and often narcissists do feel shame, but only because it relates to them, not someone else. I know…it kinda makes your brain freeze trying to figure out the difference.

According to Psychology Today, SHAME is “…a painful feeling about how we appear to others (and to ourselves) and doesn’t necessarily depend on our having done anything.”

From a cognitive point of view, guilt is an emotion that people experience because they’re convinced they’ve caused harm.

Narcissists, without therapy, have an almost impossible time understanding that they cause harm to others. From my own personal experience, I can say that I cannot think of a single time that my narc husband was ever able to admit causing harm to anyone he had ever been in a relationship with- ever…even while describing his actions which were clearly harmful to a previous wife, girlfriends, etc. (And, I’m not even going to bother with harm he’s intentionally caused me…even after admitting that his actions were purposefully engineered to harm me, he would refused to alter them.)

Everything my narcissist husband has done since I’ve filed for divorce, actions that were meant to cause me harm -emotional, financial- well, he has actually stated that I deserved it because I dared to file for divorce. In fact, he won’t even call it a divorce, he calls it a “lawsuit.” As if our wedding never happened…ummm…whatever.

So, if you are involved with a narc, what does that mean about you?? If you are in a relationship with one, it very probably means that you have –and most likely have always had– poor emotional/ identity boundaries. The surest way to AVOID a narc in the future is to work with a qualified therapist to discover proper identity boundaries and develop them. That’s it. A narc isn’t going to pursue you for long if you employ proper boundaries.

They just won’t.

However, a person who is NOT emotionally disordered will take the time to get to know you, and will respect your normal human boundaries.


Narcissists feed off the emotions that they can manipulate others in to projecting. This is where their fantastic ability to manipulate and control others can be seen. Any type of emotional display in responding to the narcissist is their own personal kind of heroin.  They crave the emotional openness they receive from others since they can’t actually feeeeeel normal positive emotions from inside themselves.

I actually stumbled across a posting forum for Narcissist Personality Disorder people. The posts are written by diagnosed narcissists. These posts give really interesting insights into what they do and how they “feel”in regards to the partners they seduce into a relationship.

fake emotions

They discuss feeling like an emotionless robot, and the only time they can feel anything is when getting attention from someone else. Good or bad attention, in the end it doesn’t matter. One guy actually wrote about how he spends his time making people feel good about themselves so that they will like him. He admits that he doesn’t care about any of these people, but he needs the constant admiration, he needs the emotional “high” of their approval. The narcs that post in the forum admitted to knowing that they harm their partners with lying, controlling, and manipulation, but they feel nothing about it. just…nothing. Hence, they won’t stop their behaviors and will keep baiting their victims and feeding off their interactions for eternity…. if the victim allows it.

I’ve found this to be 100% true regarding my husband’s treatment of me. He still baits me, makes promises that he doesn’t keep, lies about women… EVEN until this day…it never ends with him. I feel nothing but pity for the next woman he is targeting…after nearly 60 years of him doing the same thing, …well, it makes me a bit sad. Pain is pain and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

If you have proper, normal boundaries, the narc will figure out very quickly that you are not a suitable source of “supply” which is just a fancy term for an emotional vending machine. Ultimately, this is what each person is to a narc, and if you don’t “supply” they will quickly wander off to get it somewhere else. I say, save yourself, and let’em wander away…far, far away.

That’s my tip for the day. PROPER EMOTIONAL BOUNDARIES. Find ’em, build them if you haven’t got ’em, and afterwards look forward to a future free from narc abuse.


At the end of the day, the more horror stories I read regarding people and the way they treat others, it revolts me. Regardless of “he said/ she said” these are examples of the way people actually treat others. It’s so sad, and so wrong. I hope anyone reading these postings pauses to rethink your own behaviors as I have been doing. Hurting others, disregarding their humanity, all of these actions can be CHANGED.

Even those who are diagnosed as pathologically narcissist agree that their behaviors can be changed, they just choose not to change. One female narc has not dated in over a decade, as she realized that ultimately, she just didn’t care about her partners.

Personally, I believe in change. I think i always will…

Part 7 Divorcing a Narcissist…I feel better.


When researching narcissism, mostly, I came across loads and LOADS of information written by narcissist victims. Those narc’s can do a lot of damage, and it sometimes takes years for their victims to recover themselves, both emotionally, financially, socially…you name it, the narc went out of his or her way to destroy everything. It sucks. Lots and lots of pain is left behind by narcs. Personally, my narc husband has tried to erase the past 5 years of my life. Literally. Case in point- out of everyone I’ve met, befriended, interacted with, I have retained only ONE friend (the types who call at least every month or so to check in) that I’ve met during the past five years that I’ve spent with my narc husband. ONE. Let that sink in for a moment…five. years.

Writing this blog has been healing for me, for a few reasons.

1) I’ve received an enormous amount of support from those that know me and had NO idea what was going on.

2) Being contacted by other narcissistic abuse survivors via the blog-o-sphere has been an unexpected salve because you quickly realize that no, you are not alone, and no, you were not crazy. Weirdly, narc’s all act the same. Some in bigger and more horrendous ways, but the core of the abuse is always the same. If it wasn’t so sad, it would almost be funny.

3) Because ultimately my story, and the story of my life, belongs to me. Period.

Do you want to know how most researchers advise to best handle a narcissist?


AVOID THEM. That’s their big advice. Hahaha :)  for some reason, that makes me laugh, probably because it’s so simple. :) Just see the signs and run the heck away!

But, the softer side of me feels the need to point out that a lot of new research on narcissism has been undertaken over the past few years, much more than ever before. Traditionally it was thought that narcissism was incurable, and maybe certain types – especially the malignant kind, where the narcissist truly enjoys feeding off the pain of others–maybe that is incurable. For the record, I don’t think that my narcissist husband is a malignant narc.

There has been a lot of recent progress in treating the narcissist, at least, the ones who want to be treated. These people are the few and far between that realize something is wrong, and want to somehow change their behaviors.


The treatment is NOT about curing the narcissism, which is a deeply protective mechanism and permanently part of the individual make-up and personality. Rather, the researcher teaches the narc ways to understand their own deeply, deeply locked-in feelings (which throughout their lives, they have mostly tried to avoid) and to help the narc learn communication skills.


To describe this stuff is a bit wordy…but here goes:

It seems that by being taught some never learned communication skills is a huge, HUGE sort of “hack” for the narcissist. This “hack” allows the narc to maneuver beyond the iron wall that separates them from the pain their actions cause to their partners, families, spouses, children, etc.

While they may not ever be able to personally empathize with the actual “feelings” of others, at least now they understand the destructive power of their behaviors. It’s a power that ultimately does not serve the narc, as they have a deep yearning for relationships and human interaction and response, yet repeatedly destroy those relationships. (This is why narcs go from relationship to relationship, leaving a trail of destruction behind them. They actually crave human interaction.)

This “hack” allows them to understand their triggers. Narcissist do have real, deep psychological needs that they rely on other people to meet for them, as they can’t meet these needs themselves. With treatment, they can learn how to meet their psychological needs in un-harmful ways, while also not harming the people with whom they interact… It does take therapy and it does take work.

Personally, I believe that we all have the power to change our lives.

We really do.

Just look at me…it took me by making the choice to be brave and just SPEAK THE TRUTH, to change the way I was feeling about this whole experience. And though it’s not yet over, I do feel more empowered. I am beginning to feel like myself again. Not a victim. Not bitter. Not angry…(well, maybe still a bit of that…) But, it’s a start.


Breathing and Banksy


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photo (5)Okay, so after all this heavy stuff, let’s take a moment and breeeeeeath.

Here’s a pic of a Banksy print that hangs in my bathroom. I see it everyday, and it’s a good reminder.

I went out tonight in fun lil Nashville to a songwriter’s showcase with a friend. It was glorious, inspiring and I had a fun conversation about Pensacola (my college alma mater). Did you know that Pensacola has one of the only documented cases of a SEA CREATURE attack??? Not shark. SEA CREATURE. Google it. :)

Hope you, sweet reader, found some unexpected inspiration today, too!


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