It is difficult to deal with a narcissist when you are a grown, independent, fully functioning adult. The children of narcissists have an especially difficult burden, for they lack the knowledge, power, and resources to deal with their narcissistic parents without becoming their victims. Whether cast into the role of Scapegoat or Golden Child, the Narcissist's Child never truly receives that to which all children are entitled: a parent's unconditional love. Start by reading the 46 memories--it all began there.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Never-Ending Story: At War with a Narcissist

In response to my posting a few days ago, A Fable for our Lives, I received a comment I was not sure if I should post or not. The writer claimed to not know any narcissists but the subject fascinated him/her, and the writer posed a question: why go NC, why not engage the narcissist and overcome her? Although I eventually published it (and got a comment from the writer regarding my reply) I still have my reservations: the letter was just a little too disingenuous, just a bit too “innocent” and the reply continued to advocate engagement and seemed to not understand why people would prefer to simply shut troublemakers out of their lives.

My personal suspicion is that the writer is a narcissist who is trolling but, frankly, the question is a good one. Many of us teeter on the horns of a dilemma with respect to engaging our NMs, many of us are still so angry that the idea of engaging and winning is a favourite fantasy. But most of us are also aware that giving that much time and attention to a narcissist is exactly what the narcissist wants…she doesn’t care if the attention you give her is negative or positive, just so long she gets it and the Nsupply it brings.

A couple of readers responded with excellent answers and it occurred to me that the very best answers to the question of engagement would come from you, the readers who have such a tremendous body of experience in dealing with narcissists. So, I am going to copy the original query below, along with the replies, and then ask you to respond in the comments section. Your collective wisdom is greater than anything I can come up with on my own.

Anonymous September 27, 2014 at 2:30 PM
I have a few questions for you.

First, I have no experience with malignant narcissists. I'm not aware of any immediate or extended family member that has any personality disorder. I've just been reading a few sites that are written by others because I stumbled onto the topic and want to learn more..

You wrote "Or do we simply accept that it is the nature of these creatures to sting, bite, steal and do whatever we must to avoid being injured by them?"

One thing I've noticed in others writings is that the emphasis is on avoiding the MN. Doesn't this play into the MN's hands? Doesn't it leave the initiative to them, and puts everyone else on the defensive, and in a great deal of stress waiting for another attack?

My question is: Wouldn't it be better to gain the initiative and engage the enemy? Put them on the defensive, by pushing their buttons incessantly and without mercy? Make them avoid and fear the abused instead of the other way around? Make THEM go NC, or be destroyed.

I have a hard time understanding why going on the offensive is not discussed in any site I read. I know there could be a reason for that. It could be because I don't know enough, and there are legitimate reasons for not doing this. But as a reader, I have to ask what I consider the obvious question. Why not go on the attack. It's self defense.

Sweet Violet September 29, 2014 at 3:09 AM
Why would anyone want to increase the discord and drama in their lives when a less fraught path was available?

What you fail to realize about narcissists is that they do not respond to provocation like mentally balanced human beings, and they have few (if any) limits. I know narcissistic mothers who have mounted extensive campaigns to malign their scapegoat children and make them look crazy (or worse) and end up taking custody of the target's children away from them. I know of scapegoat daughters ending up in mental health facilities due to the lies told by their narcissistic mothers. I know of one woman who ended up in jail when her mother called the police and reported she had been beaten by her daughter and the woman's enabler husband claimed to have witnessed it.

Who, in their right mind, engages a crazy person who has no limits to the level she will sink to get her own way when cutting off contact is an available choice? 

Anonymous September 29, 2014 at 11:52 AM
Sweet Violet,

I am not saying to engage them on their terms. Just the opposite.
I know they're dangerous, and they don't respond like real humans do, even though I don't know this by personal experience but by reading about them..

By provocation, I mean reframing the conversation, or using other offensive tactics that actually work instead of being on constant defense. I'll give an example of what I am writing about.

Suppose for example you have a weight problem.
Suppose mommy dearest calls up. She heard of a diet that might help you. She is trying to push your buttons while appearing oh so helpful.
Respond with "Ohhh HIIIiiiii! I was just thinking about you. I have some good news! "
And then give her some good news about your life and tell her how happy that makes you feel.
Totally ignore what the beast says in reply and go on with the conversation on your terms about your good news.
And then hang up on her because a friend just showed up at your door. Doesn't matter if it's true or not, just so she thinks there is a friend at the door. Let this thing know that someone else out there is more important than they are.

Give her nothing. Except rage and fear. If rage and fear are all they understand, then I say give it to them generously, with heaping portions. Let that creature feast on it.

Is it legal to record conversations? I'm not sure where you live, and laws vary. Some states allow recording if you are party to the actual conversation. I'm in IL, and technically it's illegal (last time I checked) but it isn't prosecuted if I am a party to the conversation. If you can legally do this, then why not do it?

I'm writing about being underhanded, and maybe vicious depending on what you consider being vicious, but 100% legal. And pushing the buttons that will set them off. Poke them with a verbal stick. And let them blow up and be known as the crazy one. Bonus points if you can get a recording of it.

They are going to do what they want. If they want your kids, they will find a way to try and take them. If they want a person to be miserable and end up in a mental hospital, they will find a way, whether they are engaged (fought) or not. Am I right or wrong?

They are going to keep doing this until they are stopped. And from what I read, any fighting back is done on the MNs terms because they are reacting and responding to the MNs behavior, so no wonder it has no effect on them, or it actually feeds them. Abused fight back defensively and that leaves the initiative to the MN,

If cutting off contact is an available choice, and it actually works and doesn't provoke stalking, then I understand that. But what if that isn't a viable option, or what if they find you? From what I've read, some MNs will stalk. I personally would not want to be constantly looking over my shoulder 24/7/365.

People write about "vengeance". This isn't vengeance. It's self defense. People have the right to fight back hard when under attack. It just seems that not many have the desire. I said it seems that way, to me. But I am only in my shoes, not anothers' shoes.

Are there any men that blog about this? 

Sweet Violet September 29, 2014 at 10:41 PM
I still don't understand why anyone would choose to engage a narcissist and bring all that drama or why anyone would even advocate it. Yes, some of them will stalk, but most of them, if denied Nsupply long enough (and engaging them gives them Nsupply) will go to greener pastures. Since we who were raised by narcissists know that there is no possible way to change the narcissist's behaviour and belief, and the only way you can "win" is to get that narcissist to change, what is the point? All you do is make your own life more disrupted than it already is, make the narcissist the focal point of your life, and encourage her...counterproductive, if you ask me.

Venus September 29, 2014 at 1:26 PM
So true, Violet. Narcissists LOVE the drama, love the challenge, and are all about it being a bloody competition. ...which they must win at all costs.. :-(

It's a foolish thing to take one on, thinking you can beat them, because they are usually already doing things you could never have anticipated and it's usually something where YOU will cop all the blame, and wish afterwards with all your heart, you'd not allowed the narc back into your life, or worse, thought you could beat them at their own game.

As Violet pointed out, narcs have NO limits. You can never really anticipate their next monstrous step, and often what they are ALREADY doing....meaning, they are already setting you up. They've already out maneuvered you (and sabotaged you), before you've even started.

All it does is excite them. They feed on it. My NM loved to be challenged, and where a normal person would be in tears and stressed out by being confronted, my NM would go cold and deadly calm and verbally cut her 'opponent' down until she'd break them (I'd seen her do that with many people over the years), then privately set about her future revenge. And revenge with a narc doesn't stop, until they are sated. And sometimes, that may be a lifelong campaign against the other person. (momentarily interrupted, if the other person is of use to them in opposing some new opponent).

I don't think narcs are ever satiated. And that's what makes them so dangerous.

Opposing a narc, only excites them. It's like trying to put out a fire with gasoline.

That's just my experience. 

Anonymous2 September 29, 2014 at 11:38 PM
The following is from a reader who was unable to get her comment to post, so she sent it to me via email and asked me to post it for her.

Oh, yes, wow, I like the idea of going on the offensive against my narcissist mom and enabler/co-narcissist dad. I used to quite enjoy baiting my mother just as she had baited me for years, into revealing her own lies or contradictions and then slamming her with it to her face to where she COULD NOT deny/excuse/smokescreen/etc. She'd be in a momentary state of shock, cornered, helpless, and it was DEE-licious for me. I would not drool and smack my lips, though, no no. I just enjoyed the effect and then, like she would do after slicing my heart to bits, just continue on as if nothing was happening, just pick up the conversation from a nearby spot and move on, la ti da, kind of what you'd call cat-and-mousing her. It was useful to see that I could outsmart her on that level, at least. And she's pretty freaking smart, with so many more years of practice at tricky-talk.

Like so many of us learn though, that kind of engagement probably just escalates a war that can never be won. But they were invaluable moments in my life where the lies had been stripped away and there we were: mother and daughter, stabbing each other until one knocks the other one's sword down and sticks the point of her sword to the skin of the other. In my mind, that's what I felt like, and I thought along the lines of, "I could run you through right now, and we both know it, so we leave this battle knowing that I spared your life."

I did that several times over in a few years' time. It probably made her more guarded, more offended at me, even more alluring a target for her to aim at, and no doubt, NO DOUBT, caused her to attack me more viciously behind my back. Knowing what I know now, chances are she described those conversations where I nailed her, but changed who said what to whom. She is a classic case in that regard: always taking credit for what good I've done, and trashing me for crappy things SHE'S done or said to or about others (meaning my siblings and in laws). I've heard that directly and voluntarily from two siblings, and seen it in the private email between her and another sibling (I was "cleaning" my mother's jammed-up computer for her while she was in the room with me... can't tell you how long I was waiting for a chance at that job... JUST to see if I could find something in writing, and I did. Just once, just one crack at her computer... pay dirt. Painful, but, the real truth, in black and white.) And, one sister in law copied a letter my mother wrote to her son, my nephew and junior by twenty years, where my mother arbitrarily brought my name forward to bash me; I begged that sister in law to help me keep my sanity by giving me a hard copy of that letter, on the promise that I would never, ever shove it in my mom's face. That SIL never really liked me, but, this she did give to me. Seeing it in black and white was powerful, but possessing it in black and white is long-term NOT FORGETTING.

Anyway, the point is, I'm so glad I had those moments of going on the offensive and gaining the victory of seeing her squirm with her unveiled lies, and of the achievement of cornering HER; and, I can't really tell you or myself if it made my LIFE any happier. It helped me put the period at the end of the sentence though. It's hard to CATCH this woman, and I did, many times while I had to be in her vicinity anyway, and it informed my continued healing: she was really, really lying, and bad-mouthing me, and I got her to paint herself into the corner and reveal herself. I certainly could no longer go on trying to fool myself whether she was trashing me to others or not. That's a passage, progress, as long as I REMEMBER it. That's the thing: we have to keep remembering every day: this is what she is and this is why I must keep saying NO to her being in my life.

I want to be happy.

So…what would you like to say to this person who seems to think that our best option is not to walk away from the drama but to engage and escalate it? Please comment below.


  1. I'd say that I'd rather invest my time and energy in being happy and making a life for myself, than engaging a narc.. Having my NM in my life and being dragged back into family dramas (who said what to who, flying monkeys, etc), would just make me feel like part of the very unhealthy family dynamic I have worked so hard to leave behind me.

    And it means reliving the bad memories of the past, everytime she and I speak. We are just playing out the same old senario. It brings the past into the present. The very past, I need to heal from!

    I want heal!!!! Not go back and play games.

    I just want to move on, and be my own person, and be mentally and emotionally healthy. Engaging with a narc, prevents that process from taking place, within me.

    Nor do I WANT to be emotionally focused on playing some game with her, trying to beat her. Any gains, are short term, as they will only make her vengeful.

    It ISN'T healthy to focus on her or besting her. It isn't healing.

    I'd rather focus on HAVING A LIFE, that doesn't centre around her. Emotional focus is never healthy.

    Nor do I wish to be LIKE her. And playing games, IS being like her. It's being reduced to her level.

    I've only resumed NC about a month ago. But I recall last year when I was NC for almost a year, I started to forget my NM even existed. And I started a new relationship and became so gosh darned happy! Now THAT'S healthy.

    The best revenge, is to live well!

    Why wasted ones life, on warring with a narc? That's how THEY like to live.

    Not me.

  2. I am the man that posted those comments.

    "So…what would you like to say to this person who seems to think that our best option is not to walk away from the drama but to engage and escalate it? Please comment below."

    "Seems to think?" I never said that. I didn't even hint about not doing such a thing.

    I wrote "If cutting off contact is an available choice, and it actually works and doesn't provoke stalking, then I understand that. But what if that isn't a viable option, or what if they find you? From what I've read, some MNs will stalk. I personally would not want to be constantly looking over my shoulder 24/7/365."

    That quote is from this article. People can verify that, easily.

    If going NC is viable, then do it. This is what I said above.

    But if it's not viable? Then what? THAT is the question I raised.

    I"m not a "narcissist troll" that is trying to get people to do stupid things. I'm trying to understand why people don't fight back when attacked. If you're attacked, you are not NC, right? You are being attacked because you are already in contact.

    This reminds me of a movie scene with Clint Eastwood. Here is the clip and that is what I'm saying here.

    I didn't read this entire post yet, but this caught my eye:

    "It's a foolish thing to take one on, thinking you can beat them, because they are usually already doing things you could never have anticipated and it's usually something where YOU will cop all the blame, and wish afterwards with all your heart, you'd not allowed the narc back into your life, or worse, thought you could beat them at their own game."

    Fight on your terms, not theirs! Take the initiative away from them and act. Don't react. Reacting means waiting for another attack. I don't think that is a good way to live. I wouldn't do it.

    This is why I said "By provocation, I mean reframing the conversation, or using other offensive tactics that actually work instead of being on constant defense. I'll give an example of what I am writing about."

    And then I gave an example of what I meant.

    Now, I'm not saying this will work. I don't know if it will, or not. I have only run into narcissists, but I didn't stick around to see if they were the malignant type. I not one single time ever found them to be charismatic etc. I hated them on sight. I didn't know why. I just knew there was something really wrong with them.

    So, my experience is different than yours. And maybe my lack of experience with these MNs means these tactics won't work. If they won't work, can you say why that is?

    As a man, I have a problem with not fighting back when necessary. I just refuse to fight on the enemies terms. This is why I asked if any men write about this.

    1. Actually, you DO seem to think that "...our best option is not to walk away from the drama but to engage and escalate it..." Because if going NC is not a viable option, you advocate what amounts to violence--emotional violence, not physical, but violence just the same.

      Many people who grow up with narcissistic parents suffer from you think suggesting that they stay continually engaged with the very situation that caused their PTSD is healthy for them. Don't you think that a lifetime of being victimized is enough? Why would anyone want to prolong the conflict? Yes, some get stalky...what if they were real-life you think the authorities would recommend engaging them?

      You show a decided lack of empathy and understanding of the people who have been groomed and victimized by these emotional vampires for their entire lives. Fighting back is, like one of the readers said, like trying to put out a fire by throwing gasoline on it. And fighting back by going on the offensive doesn't make any difference to the fact, it may be preferable to the narcissist because now she feel victimized, can point out to her sympathizers how she is being victimized and rally even more supporters to her cause...and it encourages more of the same (or worse) behaviour on the part of the narcissist because now she feels justified because SHE is fighting back. It can only make matters worse.

      Some of these victims are like whipped dogs...they have no idea what the did to deserve the antipathy of their narcissistic parent and may have parents who are extreme in their willingness to pull out the stops in their effort to "win." My own mother considered any autonomous word or action on my part to be "defiance." In my early teens she tried to have me committed to a reformatory as "incorrigible," but the judge turned her down because I was doing well in school and had never been in trouble with the law. Narcissists do not respect boundaries...either the boundaries set down by their victims OR the boundaries of society or the law...they will slander, steal, even kidnap their grandchildren, always with plausible rationalizations and a squad of flying monkeys to do their bidding and support their actions.

      You cannot "win" by engaging a narcissist--their psyches are such that to "lose" is to be psychologically eradicated. They will therefore go to any extreme they deem necessary to "win" against you---everything is a competition with them (I cannot tell you how many times I found my narcissistic ex-husband angry with me for "winning" a competition I did not even know existed). They will set you up and knock you down for no more reason than they crave the sense of power they get from doing so. Engaging them on ANY level simply feeds that.

      The one thing you can be absolutely certain of with respect to narcissists is that they will not stick around people who do not feed their need for engagement. You see, if you engage a narc and you "win" using your methods, now you have created a need on the part of the narc to beat escalate the drama and you intensify it. Narcissists go where the drama is, where the opportunity to get narcissistic supply exists. If you deny them that supply for a long enough period of time, eventually they seek another source. They may come back periodically to see if they can provoke a response from you and start the supply up again, but if you can convince them that the well is dry, they will seek supply elsewhere. (see part 2 below)

    2. Part 2

      What you suggest will only exacerbate the problem. it doesn't matter if the attention you give the narcissist comes from an offensive or a defensive position, it is all attention and that is what the narcissist wants. And the more you give, the more they want. You cannot humiliate them into leaving you alone...every humiliation, every strike you win, motivates them further. What you suggest would drive normal people away...but it only adds fuel to a narcissist's fire.

      Your lack of understanding and empathy for the victims of these monsters is concerning...your insistence that your way is viable, in the admitted absence of knowledge about the dynamics of narcissists, is worrisome. It is the way a narcissist operates: I am right and if you say I am wrong I will argue with you, reshape my argument to press my point, verbally attack you, and ultimately dismiss you as not knowing what you are talking about--all because you don't agree with me. You will probably disagree and say you didn't "say" or "do" this, but I read subtext as well as text and this is what I get from your communication. And, while you claim you are not a narcissist, this is exactly how a narcissist operates. So I will give you the benefit of the doubt and suppose that you just have fleas acquired from a narcissist you know...but don't realize yet is a narcissist.

      Please do not write again...I won't publish your responses any more because I am not giving this blog over you or your point of view. Nobody in their right mind wants to provoke a narcissist further and that is exactly what your "suggestions" will do.

      MY suggestion to you is to read this blog from the beginning, including the comments from readers. When you are done with that, go to the list of websites listed in the right-hand column of the first page of the blog and read them. And when you have finished those, buy or borrow the books listed in the book section. When you have finished that, you should have at least a modicum of understanding of what it is like to have grown up under the thumb of a narcissist and why the vast majority of us just want the drama to STOP and therefore have no interest of going on the offensive, as you suggest, and escalate it further.

  3. It is a fantasy of mine to "engage and defeat" my N mother at her own game, but realistically, any attention is "good" attention for her. To initiate, engage, and to escalate is to feed my narc. It would feed any narc, I think. I am by no means an expert

  4. Also, I do agree that the reader may have been trolling and was/ is baiting us.

  5. Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." Engaging and "fighting fire with fire" means that I have to expend my energy, which I consider a precious commodity, on someone who really doesn't deserve it. If I sink to her level and behave the way she does, I don't "win" anything in the end. She's still a narcissist and I've now behaved in a way that I absolutely hate. How is this winning? How do I benefit from this? Simple answer: I don't. I want to be happy and at peace, and engaging in some verbal war/games with a narc deprives me of that. When I'm NC, I AM at peace. Engaging with her is like slamming my head into a brick wall over and over. Pointless.


  6. Well put Venus!
    Yeah. I think it's somehow tied in with growing up in a way. When you're a kid or a teen and you're dealing with a bully that you can't escape and can't defeat you fall into fantasies of revenge. Maybe you dream of violence against them, maybe you say the cutting thing that breaks them down. Maybe you reveal them publicly and they lose their power. You love the dream of revenge because you're a kid or a teen and you're trapped in the situation. You don't have the power or the freedom or the money to leave.
    Then you get older. You reach a legal adult age. You start working (or get into a position where your wages are not accessible by your parents) and you start having more options. You CAN leave.
    So where I used to have fantasies about confrontational ways to deal with my NM it came out of a powerlessness for me. Now I'm not powerless. Now I can leave. I can leave the house, leave town, leave the country. I can move and not share my new address. I have countless paths out of her power. Why would I ever stay?
    Staying is giving up the power that I've fought so hard to gain. Leaving is my power.

  7. It has been 33 years since I went no-contact.

    Recently, I was having coffee in a restaurant with a friend. I half-noticed a woman walk by our table, slowly and deliberately, back & forth, over and over. I did not pay much attention until about the 5th or 6th time. I looked up to see a dumpy old woman who was entirely unremarkable, except for a hauntingly familiar sadistic smirk. The immediate thought that raced through my mind was, “Wow, someone else in the world has the same fiendish, sadistic smirk as my mother?” The woman continued to walk by our table, again and again, never saying a word, just staring at me with a denigrating, evil smirk to get my attention. Could this be my mother? Seconds later, I noticed an aunt in the distance, one of my mother’s gullible flying monkeys. Once my mother was satisfied that I recognized her and that she unnerved me, mission accomplished and she was okay to leave. I later mentioned the incident to my brother, who told me that she has about 4 or 5 perfectly coiffed age-appropriate wigs. Except for the sadistic smirk indelibly etched on her faced, the wig, substantial weight gain, and aging facial features left her unrecognizable. I commented to my friend that here it is, 33 years later, and this will probably be my last memory of her: the insatiable evil smirk, a mother completely devoid of any natural affection for her children, focused solely on the perverted pleasure she gleans from tormenting her victims. Normal mothers just don’t behave that way.

    My mother is 86 years old, living in elderly housing, in excellent physical health. She can easily live to be 100. I grieve for friends and acquaintances that lose a loved one to premature death. Truly loving families devastated by loss. Then there is my mother, who has sown seeds of destruction all her life, ruining lives, careers, hopes & dreams, friendships, homes, marriages, mental and physical health with her lies, false accusations, slander, division, triangulation … and she’s still going strong. I have never, even for a split second, ever, ever regretted the decision to go no-contact. She has made a few attempts at reconciliation that usually begins with how wonderful she is, how terrible I am, and how magnanimous of her to lower herself to give someone as despicable as me another chance. I just hang up, throw out her poorly written, juvenile letters, or tell her messenger that I'm not interested.

    The injustices of growing up with a malignant narcissist, pathological lying, jealous, petty, critical, vindictive, evil mother are too numerous to recount. As part of the healing process, I sincerely tried to shift the focus to recalling good memories instead. Surely, there had to be some genuinely happy times, unselfish acts of kindness or manifestations of maternal love. It could not have all been negative. And that saddened me ever more. Only one memory stood out: my 3rd birthday. She surprised me with a muffin for breakfast with a candle in it. To me, it was the biggest thing in the whole world.

  8. What hurts the narcissist the most is abandonment. The rest is just a game, and 90% of it will be played behind your back.

  9. What a wonderful post Violet! You champion! Thanks for sticking up for us. This really is a safe haven for us. So appreciated.

    And thanks Boutet. Yeah, by the time I was 16, I used to fantasize about killing my mum. (sounds awful) I just wanted my pain to end.

    Then I realized I couldn't so it, and this is scarey.... But I went out and bought a packet of razor blades, to do myself in, instead. That's how desperate I had become. I would have done anything to escape the constant fear that I lived in.

    Fortunately, I was sent to live with my aunt, as my mother said she couldn't stand me anymore. My aunt and cousins were so kind to me, I cried and cried the first night. I could scarely comprehend such kindness being directed towards ME.

    They thought my tears were because I was homesick and thought maybe they should send me home. Then I panicked and begged them to let me stay.

    I ended up staying for months and loved it there.

    My mother only rarely visited, and when she did, my aunt said "I don't know why you have so much trouble with her. She's so quiet and never any trouble."

    That was simply because I was used to being VERY quiet and hiding in my room to try and avoid antagonizing my mother, which my mere presence managed to do. I couldn't walk through the house without her shrieking at me or trying to hit me.
    My nerves were totally jangled, from being screamed at, all the time.

    Then mum would stalk around the house yelling, that I had given HER bad nerves.

    I still have days where I want to phone her, confront her, demand answers, make her admit how she treated me...........but I already know the outcome. I did try that, a few times in my twenties.

    Her response, is a calm menacing "You're mad. You're insane. I never did any of those things to you. You always were crazy. EVERYONE knows you're crazy."

    One commenter here spoke about the evil smirk. YES, she does that, even to her grandchildren, when she pushes them too far and they get angry, then my sister makes them apologize to my MN mother.

    They are made to apologize, and mum smirks at them nastily, then looks the other way.
    One of my sister's kids ( a quiet sensitive boy) finally went hysterical, during one of my mothers visits. He couldn't take it anymore.

    My sister did nothing, and only finally drew the line, when she came home from having her fourth baby and discovered my parents had beaten her son. One beat him, and the other watched.

    I guess that explains why dad never stepped in and protected me.

    My parents do not know my children. My ex-husband and I, agreed together to protect them. Mum started on my first child ( cruelly mocking him when he was just 4 years old and he cried), and that was it for me. I kept my children away from her. That still annoys her. But it was the right thing to do. No regrets.

  10. I learned first-hand that to engage my narcissist on any level was to invite her to harass me. I found out second-hand that no matter how clearly I'd communicate to her, she'd throw up her hands and insist that I was vague and how was she supposed to understand anything when I communicated so poorly? Yes, go and tell that to my best friend who considers me an excellent communicator why don't you. *shakes head*

    In short, I do not think there is any winning against *my* narcissists, so they've been cut from my life. Whatever value added they might have had absolutely does not weigh against the hell and abuse I suffered. My life is much happier for not bringing more confrontation into it just for the sake of confrontation.

  11. First of all: If you play games with narcissist, you are acting like one. Playing games is never healthy and gets us nowhere regarding healing process.

    Also, you have to remember you can never ever win a game, where the opponent makes up new rules all the time. You could only beat evil, if you were evil, more evil than the N, too - and who wants to become more evil than the narc??

    Lastly.. the narc does not need his/her victim to be "waiting for another attack". He/she attacks anyway, with the means you could have never anticipated. The more you try to attack first, the more she attacks and with by far more evil means.

    You can never win a player who has no rules - and if you are still a somewhat normal human being, you DO have rules. They don't. It's always a "you lose" for the one with rules.


  12. I agree with Venus and Lucy. There comes a point in our lives where we grew up with enough drama and enough pain that we choose no contact. This isn't a form of playing a game or a way of getting even, this is a way of claiming freedom! Who could spend that much time and energy trying to "beat them at their own game"? If we did that, we would be attempting to become the N.

    Even if you think you could win, you won't. Simply because by choosing to play into the game, you are engaging them and giving them their supply one way or another.

    1)You hang up the phone on them, you obviously still allow them to have contact with you and allow them to play a victim of what a horrible person/mother/child you are. Allowing more fuel for herself and the flying monkeys for their never ending pursuit to destroy you as a person.

    2) If you were to interrupt their attempt of putting you down with good news, they will take your good news and find a way to use that against you. They can even wait YEARS to get even with you for what you did. They will find a time when you are struggling as a human, dealing with a death or crisis in the family, find you at your weakest and then pull out all kinds of hurtful actions or comments. They will enjoy doing this until they day they die.

    3) Having any contact at all will always allow room for the N to manipulate anything you say or do and use that against you in anyway they see fit. From trying to take your kids, trying to ruin your job or relationships.

    4) Going no contact? Sometimes they do stalk, however it has been absolute bliss to dealing with the occasional pop up of the N ( they usually end up looking like an idiot) rather than dealing with the time and energy wasted of ALWAYS having to be *truly* looking over your shoulder or being on guard all the time when they are in your life plotting their next move.

    5) Are there any men that blog about this? Well I've ran across quite a few men who have experienced this issue. However, (IMO) men are not as emotional creatures by nature, I believe that they have a harder time trying to come out in the open, discussing or even understanding the abuse they endured. The mother/son relationship is very different than the mother/daughter relationship. I've heard of single N mothers who have used their sons as a substitute for a husband and has caused severe emotional and sexual issues in their lives. Its very sad for the child.

    6) I hope it is a N trying to troll. That just goes to show how threatened they are by people standing up and saying "NO" to the abuse! The N is trying to encourage continuation of an unhealthy and toxic relationship. I hope that any person (man or woman) who is in conflict of with an N and is undecided how to deal with their anger or how to handle a situation with an N that has recently been brought to light, I can say first hand that engaging the N with a vengeful attitude will NEVER get you the peace, respect or love in your life that you deserve. Being filled with a "justified" hate will only leave you empty, more angry and void of ever having a happy life.


  13. I agree...there comes a time when you have to put down your sword or it's going to kill you not her. My NPD mother is always in for drama, positive or negative it's all narcissistic supply. The last words my mother spoke to me on the phone were, "I don't have a daughter." I hung up the phone during her verbal assault. This is after I was there for her and her husband when he died. I also helped her with the transition of living alone. All good deeds go undone with an MNM. She called about 3 days later and very angry said she was sorry...didn't know what was wrong with me. She couldn't understand why I don't call her; she didn't do anything to me. She ended the voicemail with, "I just wanted to be like you." Story of my life. I wrote her an e-mail and thanked her for her "apology" and that I forgave her. I will never see her again. I forgave her for me. She is so, so sick. I'll do anything for my freedom now. I used to fight with her. No more. She will continue to scapegoat me, blame me, insult me, and turn things around in her favor but really, what a pitiful woman. She used to guilt me, but I don't buy in to that anymore. It's all her guilt anyway delivered in projections. I have a wonderful husband, two beautiful, well-adjusted daughters (they haven't had a relationship with their "grandmother). I help others, take care of myself...I'm very grateful today. I gave up inheritance, two brothers, a stepsister and extended family. All because of an NPD mother. I gave up alot but I won't give up my soul.

  14. Thankful for this discussion. I mentally debate whether to disconnect or if limited contact would somehow be ok. Geographic distance kept me from having to fall back into the orbit of my parents' binary system, but we recently moved closer and it seemed only natural to have Thanksgiving with them. However, my first Thanksgiving at "home" in years cemented just how much of a different planet they are on and how interacting with them just leaves me frustrated and sad. Fortunately, my shortcomings weren't dredged up by NM as passing comments over appetizers like they were at a joint birthday party for me and my cousin. When my gut told me my NM is using my daughter for Nsupply, I seriously requested to my DH that we stay at a hotel when we visit for Christmas. I've come pretty far in my own growth as an individual with wonderful support. The geographic distance facilitated this tremendously. The debate now remains between staying civil and exposing myself to the barbs, because I'm the one who will get them. I could see laughing it off as life being a comedy and someone cast Nathan Lane a'la Birdcage as my NM. I only fear, but have no proof, that NM will ignore my DD's true being and see a possible little clone that I refused to be-and took hell for.

  15. So grateful I found your blog. I got married earlier this year and have been suffering the wrath of my narcissistic father-in-law. I wish I had read this sooner, because I made the mistake of losing my cool and playing into NFIL's hands by engaging with an email about how I felt. The irrational, disturbing response I received from both him and his wife (my husband's stepmother) confirmed my fear that I would need to go NC with them. It's a struggle for my husband, who at this time still wants to be at least Low Contact. But I realize that my defending myself or trying to reason with NFIL is futile and will only leave me vulnerable to further abuse. Thanks for giving me the strength to stay strong!

  16. Going No Contact IS "winning." When you refuse to acknowledge a narc exists, it's like slapping all their bravado and BS out of them in public and letting them know they're no longer important enough to bother with.

    I went NC with my NSis a couple of years ago. A few months later, I walked right past her in a store without even "noticing" her. It scared her so badly to not be acknowledged that she hustled her kid out of the store and practically ran for her car! I'm sure part of her reaction was because she was afraid I'd be as evil as she is (she knows I could ruin her entire fa├žade with just one photo-I wouldn't, because it would hurt her kids, but if she were in the same position as I am, she would), but simply not getting any attention at all is probably a bone-chilling experience for any narc. Getting in their face and pulling their strings is still giving them attention, and opens up the possibility that they could claim victimhood (they do anyway, but why give them any opportunities?). Acting like they simply don't matter is probably the worst form of torture you can inflict on a narc.

  17. Part 1:

    Narcs are like toddlers in adult bodies. Have you ever seen any toddler tantrum de-escalate when a parent is being even more fraught, outrageous, and demanding than the toddler? The very idea is laughable. Narcs are 100% about drama. Positive attention and negative attention are all the same to them. Negative attention is also a useful tool or weapon. "See?? My daughter IS a heartless harridan! She railed at me for over an hour on the phone when I asked an innocent question!"

    Think you'll sway people with secret phone recordings? Well, how would you react to someone, unsolicited, telling you to listen to this phone recording they took of so-and-so to "prove" to you that so-and-so is a raging Narc? Could you be sure the recording you heard was the whole story? You know what Narcs love to do? Get someone completely riled and out of their minds, and then collect their "evidence" that the person in question is the one who is completely unhinged and abusive. How could you be certain this person with their secret recording wasn't the real Narc? How secure would you ever feel in having another phone conversation with them? Most people don't like the idea of being secretly recorded. Frankly, I would be far more suspicious of someone approaching me with something like that out of the blue than anything they captured on the recording. Narcs are aware of that, too. It's why they're not afraid to be nasty on the phone. They can spin it a hundred ways, and they have a lifetime of being manipulative just for the fun of it over an abuse victim who generally just wants to be left alone.

  18. Part 2:

    What do you do if they stalk you? You gather your evidence, make a legal case against them, and have them prosecuted, WITHOUT engaging in any behavior they could then turn around and use against you as proof of provocation or invitation for more engagement on your part. Who cares if they think they've won? They think a lot of completely untrue and erroneous things about themselves, their own competency, others' motivations. What's one more delusion if you get what YOU want, and that's left alone, by being boring and non-reactive?

    True fact. It is completely impossible for someone to have a fight with someone who simply is not there and refuses to engage. They can try to blow your phone up with calls. Block and screen. Delete messages the instant it's clear who it is if they call you from someone else's phone. Burn or trash any physical letters, or just write return to sender and let them bounce back unopened. Set up your e-mail to immediately side-folder and delete any correspondence from known e-mail addresses of your offender. They come beating on your door? Tell them once to go away, and if they refuse, call the cops. Press charges for trespassing. Call every time they show up. They ambush you in public, hoping to shame you into a conversation? Walk away and ignore. Call 911 if they refuse to stop following you and trying to engage. They will never win at that game, because you have refused to show up and play. They are standing in the ball field with their bat alone. You are living your life and giving them nothing.

  19. Part 3 Final:

    As unpredictable as their actual behavior can be, especially if they are also antisocial PD on top of Narc, their MOTIVES are as predictable as the sun rising in the East and setting in the West. They want attention, and for whatever reason, if you're having problems with one they've decided you're their drug of choice. Do you cure a heroin addict by giving them all the heroin they could ever want? Of course not. Do you decide the only way you can combat somebody else's drug problem and its effect on you is by doing MORE drugs than they do, being even MORE out of control and out there than they are, and making sure they know about it? Absolute insanity. Narcs are no different in that respect.

    I am experienced with Narc abuse. Overt Narc/histrionic PD mother, covert Narc/alcoholic father. The only peace and sanity I have ever attained with either of them has been through NC. She pushed my boundaries and fought like hell to get me back. I watched the toddler tantrum until she got tired and went to find someone else to suck dry. BEST thing I ever did for myself. I only wish I had known to do it way sooner.

  20. It seems clear to me that the individual who questions a NC plan is indeed a narc themselves. Their entire approach to NC IS narcissistic.


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