22 thoughts on “What’s a Narcissist’s Punishment?

  • December 13, 2017 at 9:48 am

    I was raised by a malignant narcissist mother and I concur.

    Because they never appear in public without their armor of manipulative bullying behavior they may seem incapable of human feelings. But I got glimpses of her self-hate and fear underneath. She pretty much shrivelled into an angry ball of hate until she died. The only two at her funeral were the two sons in her will.

    Donald Trump, the most famous malignant narcissist in the world, gave a revealing quote to the New York Times about his constant war with the world; “It’s life” he said. They live so within themselves and their needs that they can’t separate the stink they create from what the rest of the world creates. It’s all the same to them

  • December 13, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Excellent insightful and informative article.

    Additionally, since a deep hunger drives relentless seeking of self-selected mirrors to manipulated affirmations, a Narcissist’s ultimate punishment is nonresponse.

    What is the sound of one hand clapping?

    • March 12, 2018 at 9:11 am

      You are absolutely on target. It took me the majority of my life to finally learn that no response was punishment. It’s difficult when one is an ex husband, but after years of no response, it has worked. The other family member still takes her stabs at me. Because of life in a small town, I can’t avoid her in public, but I’ve le as red to walk away from the drama. Wish I had known/understood this 30 years ago.

      • June 19, 2018 at 4:49 am

        Yes, I’m just learning to not respond unless necessary to my recent ex. 30 years is a long time, but I’m thankful for who I am today, because of what I’ve learned through the painful process of discovery

  • February 15, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    I am so tired of being married to a narcissist. I ve taken a look at my life and I see how awful it is. From physical abuse, mental abuse. Now he has everything in he’s name he says because of business. He’s never admitted to cheating but I am very sure he has. Now I am sick and he can’t even show real compassion. He’s convinced everybody that I’m crazy. My children will not talk to me and treat him like he’s a king. The only time I’ve seen him really cry was when he’s father died. He’s grandson was in nicu never shed a tear. My middle son is the only one who sees who he is. Iam so alone. He often punishes me if I speak up for myself. (Silent treatment)I am so depressed. He always puts my family down. I raised the kids by myself. He was never home claimed he was working. When he was home all he didn’t was eat and went to bed. The abuse was really bad when we first got married. Now it’s more mental abuse. I wish I would’ve left long ago but I feel now it’s too late. Right now iam in silent treatment. I’m used to the silence now.

    • February 15, 2018 at 8:16 pm

      You must plot your escape. You have only two choices with them. Stay or go. There is no convincing. You can’t reason with them any more than you can reason with a poisonous snake. You just try to put as much distance between you and them as you can.

      When you breathe fresher air around people who are even just neutral to you you will feel better and be able to make better decisions. But as long as you are in the same house with him you are breathing poisoned air the screws with your self-esteem and reasoning. They want you to think there is no choice. It’s useful to them.

      This idea is so common that children of narcissists use the same phrase throughout the world for this. We say going “no contact” or even “NC” for short. You are not alone.

      Did you know that vampires sucking the life out of another person so they can live is thought of as a metaphor for these unredeemable people. Vampires don’t care about your wellbeing they just need the blood or they stop living. Do you want to live with that?

      Get away. I know it is terribly unfair and difficult but that is your only choice. It’s not about if, it is when. Get your middle guy to help. Don’t tell anybody except those you trust with your life. Step by step. Get going and good luck.

      • February 15, 2018 at 11:58 pm

        Iam afraid I waited too long. I never noticed how it really was until the children became adults. I was too busy raising them. I was worried about my kids needs. I have no where to go. He has convinced my family and his family that iam crazy. I have no friends. All the friends I had I felt like he was cheating with them or he convinced me not to be friends with them. I don’t trust anyone. I am so angry with myself that I let this go on. I was way too young to see. I think he purposely got me pregnant so I would stay with him at 17. He was 24. Omg I’m going to die with this man and his fake love that he try’s to show. Now it’s just so obvious how fake it is. Of course he will see to it that my children hate me.

      • February 19, 2018 at 8:45 pm

        First step is quieting your own mind.
        It’s not your fault. You were taught as a young child to be with people like him. You did what you were taught. What you were taught just happens to be wrong. It’s not good but it’s not your fault. The skill for picking healthy happy relationships is taught before we could even speak full sentences. So blame them.

        A specific kind of therapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps in these situations. For example “It’s too late.” “I have nowhere to go.” “I’m going to die with this man.” are all thoughts that came from a dark past. They are not necessarily true anymore. With skilled help, you can challenge how truthful they are and put them in their place. When they are put in their place you get breathing room to plan the next steps. You also feel a lot happier.

        Let’s say you can’t afford Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. (That would be most of us.) Begin to engage women from everywhere online. Every day you can. You’ll realize how not alone you are. You’ll learn street proven ways to get out of your situation. You may not be that happy but you’ll get out from under. More people more ideas. If you talk with people everyday your brain will actually change. It will push out the poison you’ve been fed. You are already doing it.

        Depression is a bitch. Do a little each day. Some days don’t do shit. Realize it’s two steps forward and one step back and that’s how a normal mind works. Going through the motions is actually good. So be kind but keep dancing.

        Keep a success journal where you write every positive thing you did each day. On your terms. No judgement. “Did laundry.” counts. The journal has a purpose. It counters every day, day in and day out, the negative way of thinking you were taught as a young child. Again, the brain actually changes after a time.

        Journey of a 1000 miles begins with one step and all that.

    • April 15, 2018 at 1:49 am

      Does it Matter,
      You need to embrace this phrase:
      “Silence (from a Narc) is Golden”. Remembering this Is retaliation against your Narc. Let them think that they are Controlling you, hurting you by not Graceing you with their ‘All knowing, voice of inspiration’, while you Silently Laugh at them for such juvenile behavior.
      Enjoy the silence from your narc, continue going abt your life. Get up & do a Little something everyday. Get dressed, brush your hair, do a small household chore. During this time, start planning your excape & dont let the Narc know. Interact with him as little as possible.
      God Bless you.

  • February 16, 2018 at 1:36 am

    Thank you. I don’t know how to tell you how grateful I am glad that the Narcissist pays the price in addition to all of the havoc he wreaks. That may sound petty, but just to know that since they refuse to change and learn kindness & true happiness – to treat people decently, they suffer as much or more than their victims. Hello, married to one, out of my career 7 yrs, prenup giving me virtually nothing and I did it all to myself by signing, no one held a gun to my head. I take full responsibility for MY actions, but not for his.

  • February 19, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    I was crushed and dragged through hell and back after surviving 18 years of misery / marriage at the hands narc. It took for him to physically assault my oldest daughter and then turn on me when I went into mother bear protection mode to realize this would become the last straw. I took my children, gathered up our few belongings stayed a homeless shelter until I could find suitable housing. He was charged and went to jail. It is now 3 years after, I still have my children and life is not a picnic but it’s better! We don’t live in fear and have not looked back. No contact is the only way to go! You have to decide to make the break for a freedom to have a life and change OR allow them to break you to the point where you just wish to die at their hands and evil minds with a smile on the face/heart. I left because my kids deserved better and I’m slowly realizing so do I. To those wanting to leave please do …it’s necessary and it won’t be easy but it’s totally necessary! If you don’t love yourself please leave for your loved ones and until you can think straight and love yourself again too! Best of luck to you all!

  • February 27, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    They seem to manage to live a long life despite their misery.

    • February 27, 2018 at 8:18 pm

      Even if and when that’s the case, a long life in misery is a big punishment in itself.

  • March 24, 2018 at 10:41 am

    I’m 64 years old and the scapegoat of our family all my life. My narc father died last fall at age 93. Three years prior to his death, I finally cut all contact with him despite the fact he lived next door to me. I totally agree with others – the only way to have a chance at a decent life is to cut out these toxic people. I finally came to that conclusion after trying numerous other tactics ranging from blunt confrontation with my father, going to his psychiatrist with him at his insistence where we reached an agreement that whenever tempers flared, that one of us would leave the room (of course, I was the only one to ever leave the room), confirming everything he said or did by email to him and other family members, and tape recording and videotaping him to confront his lying, and finally using pity on him which he hated. The pity strategy consisted of my expressing pity for him, his life, his problems, his attitudes and how glad I didn’t feel like he did. I guess I thought that if he could see himself through my eyes, that he would change. The pity pissed him off royally so I derived some sick vengeful pleasure from that, but his behavior never improved. So, I eventually went no contact. Best thing I ever did and wish I had done it in my late teens.

    He died in a very fitting way – on lockdown in a hospital psych ward after he threatened to get a gun and start shooting up the hospital because the nurses wouldn’t do what he wanted, where he apparently raged himself into a fatal heart attack after several days without being allowed to see his golden children son and daughter. So, he died alone in a psych ward. I wish my mother had lived long enough to see it.

    Like others have said, start making plans now. Start making copies or notes of all financial records, secretly record him with your cell phone or a mini-recorder, start secretly saving money. Get your middle child to help you find an affordable place to live, even if it is just a tiny efficiency apartment. Once you have all your ducks in a row, please walk out the door and talk to an attorney about either divorce with alimony or what is called “separate maintenance” financial support in some states without getting a divorce.

    Try not to let him get to you with the silent treatment. Ignore him totally, increase your level of socialization, talk frequently on the phone with friends and your children, meet a friend for lunch, join some sort of social group, and express JOY in front of him whenever you can even if you are faking it. He’ll start talking to you because he will be jealous and want to sabotage your happiness. Don’t let him do it. Stay strong and focused on your goal of getting away forever.

  • April 3, 2018 at 10:47 am

    This is one of the best informational articles I’ve read in reference to Narcissistic behavior.

  • May 6, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    I’ve been looking for answers for a long time…..and now I finally have them in regard to a family member.
    Thanks for the information.

  • May 27, 2018 at 3:43 am

    This is insightful & something I had become to realize as I watched my then husband grow miserable even though he was becoming a high ranking officer & he was able to get nice things. He was always angry, frustrated with most everyone he worked with… & He wanted to work alone, but had to work with others. I felt sorry for him… I finally left when abuse became physical again. I wish I would have left sooner. But I’m happy with my. I like me & that I’m a nice person. I don’t have a be on top of the hill to be happy. Small things make me happy. It’s important that we all work together to have better lives.

  • June 1, 2018 at 1:21 am

    That’s why I feel for them. I know that their life will be a miserable end. No they won’t learn how to be nice or even care to see how truly hurtful they are to the ones they say they love the most. I can’t help feeling horrible for leaving them in their twisted hell. I don’t want to see anybody in that much pain no matter what they’ve done to me. It’s been a lot of abuse and it’s caused some extreme CPTSD and cognitive dissonance in me, it’s my fault for allowing it to go in for so long after the endless amount of red flags and the numerous incidences of physical, mental, spiritual, and sometimes sexual abuse. A part of me hates that person for who they are, then the other side of me wants inky the best for them in life, then again that other part of me says that I don’t think they deserve anything but punishment for all the nightmarish things they’ve done to. It’s really confusing on many levels. It hurts to leave, it hurts to stay. What do you do? If you stay your having to accept being put down so they can feel better than you; you have to accept that the only love they have is ego based and they have no heart; you have to accept that you’ll have to put their needs first and do everything they say do and hope and pray their satisfied so you can have a moment with yourself to feel happy; you have to accept that if their not happy or feel good it’s your fault and your not allowed to feel happy when they don’t (which is rare). The other choice is leave and accept that it’s over and you’ll miss them deeply and be hurt that you gave up on someone you put endless amount of time and effort into loving and caring for, then realizing it was real for you but not them, you start seeing all the things they ever did to you from a clear mind and it shocks you further that someone could be that evil and don’t trust yourself for allowing it to happen to you. It’s such an epic mind screw.
    How are you supposed to feel about them? I don’t want to feel anger toward them but at the same time I want justice to be served, at the same time I don’t want to see that play out. I care about them and want to be with them, but it’s starting to give me serious health conditions and I need to be done for good.
    Very confusing. How are you supposed to feel about it all, and how do you process it without getting stuck on it?

    • June 1, 2018 at 10:17 am

      As an ACON your first step is to separate your behavior from your thoughts and feelings.

      Compared to responding to other parental malignancies an ACON’s choice of behavior is simple, get as far away as you can and never speak with them again. The execution might be difficult but the goal is simple. Without that separation no healing can occur.

      Acceptance is next. They are not to blame for what they did to you in the same way a snake is not to blame for biting you. You can kill a snake but the damage was already done. Therapy and any form of meditation or self reflection can help you here. “That was then, this is now” can be helpful to center yourself right here and right now.

      The next step is to face forward. You have zero control over the past but a lot of control over your future. Plan the rest of your life without them. And I mean plan.

      As an ACON you may struggle with what you want and who you are because you were conceived to serve someone else’s needs. But it is a learnable skill. You are writing the novel of your life and like any good novel there will be many revisions and rewrites and input from editors (therapists / friends.) Also, when you are thinking about the future you can’t be thinking about the past.

      ACONs often ask “Why me?” Answer: You were unlucky. You drew a bad hand. You chose the wrong parents. “Why me?” is a form of self blame. As in “What did I do to deserve this?” You were the child and they were the grownups. Whom do you think is to blame? Repeat as often as necessary. IT’S NOT MY FAULT.

      “Processing” is very necessary for people who were not even allowed to feel when they were children. It’s a neutral word for getting angry, grieving or even laughing. But emotions are a means to an end not an end in itself. They are only a tool to help you understand what you need to do. Sometimes, when the abuser created fog lifts, your goals may appear surprisingly clear and simple.

      A woman I knew told me that when the fog cleared her goals were to have a husband, kids and a dog. She said that she felt her goals were dull and unimaginative but when you come from a broken home they can be everything. I also reminded her of how many breeds of dogs there were.

      Anger especially can be useful. How many movies have used the theme of the protagonist taking abuse after abuse until one day he paints himself blue, rises and yells “FREEDOM!”? Well, only one, but I’m sure you get my drift. A competent therapist will help you try on these new shoes for size and feel.

      Finding a competent therapist is easier said than done. You are not interested in learning about the mind of a narcissist. You are interested in your own life and your own happiness, whatever that may be. The therapist must be well practiced in the specific treatment of adult children of narcissists. Not dabbled in it but well practiced. No Tony Robbins or EMDR or other trendy snake oil is going to help you here. This is advanced stuff for a psychologist, no beginner is going to help you. That means money. No way around it.

      It’s two steps forward, one step back. Even if you fall two steps back you can close your eyes and say “Yes, I may be in the same place I was in yesterday but a different person is standing here.”

  • July 10, 2018 at 8:18 am

    First of all, thank you for this blog and thank you for this great information. I come from a life that has been riddled with abuse. It began with my step-dad beating my mom and refusing to support our family, with basic human needs and financially. My mom had to go to work to support us. This was hard because then she had nothing left for us kids. My eldest sister took up the brunt of motherhood which was not fair to her. As an adult I could not marry well. I was always in an abusive relationship, either between myself and my husband or between husband and protecting my kids. My kids, nor myself did not deserve this treatment so I divorced since I made a promise to myself and my children that for their entire lives I would never tolerate abuse, since my mom tolerated it for years then divorced. The best thing she ever did. There would always be infidelity involved which would be the source of the anger, in my mother’s relationship as well as mine. My step-dad had a relationship outside of his marriage for their entire marriage and for mine as well. You can’t discuss it nor talk about it when their is evidence in front of your face…tactile evidence…clothing left behind doors, clothing left outside in the front yard…catching an ex with porn pulled up on the computer late at night. The comment I want to make though is my last one is a psychopath. He is a manipulative liar. He is a bully, a physical and mental abuser. He was nasty and disgusting and made my stomach turn. While we were worshiping he was so sweet and kind and as soon as we’d leave he’d begin the cold, evil, negative talk about how everyone was bad and life was so bad, a constant complainer. He killed my dog…I had had my dog for about seven plus years, he wanted to dump him where I was moving from, I refused. So about a year later he poisoned him with rat poison. My precious dog died a miserable, painful, sad death that he did not deserve. Then he began to tell all of our associates that there was something wrong with me and no one liked me, then told me to my face that no one liked me. He destroyed my baby pictures with a black marker. He threatened to kill my new dogs and a few horses I had bought and cared for with my own money, because he demanded that I work. He would do this while I was out of town getting things for him. Like a days drive away, he would tell me this on the phone that he was going to kill my animals. Then he threatened my son several times with bodily harm for no reason, just to be a bully and an ass. I stepped between them and refused to allow him to hit him. I saw this too many times with the beatings my mother took. He was severely mentally abusive, as he refused to allow me to talk. I would always have something going in my mind so I could drown out his evil voice. I NEVER spoke to him, or talked to him, all he wanted me to do was work for him, clean house, cook, and earn money secularly. As soon as all of my children was out of the house he tore my clothing and attempted to physically assault me, he had me “horse-collared” in the front of my gown and ripped it, threatening to punch me until I almost lost consciousness. I didn’t know what to do and I thought I could not leave, I was convinced I was trapped there, (the Stockholm Syndrome). I did leave and happened upon a person I knew so we chatted and this person got my brain back on the right track and was concerned about my personal safety. I packed some of my belongings and left. He froze the bank accounts immediately and all assets. He called me about a month later and told me that he had almost killed me three times. Once he was going to have a head-on collision with me, the next time he was going to drag me to death, and the third time he was going to shoot me and modify the gun so no one would be able to trace the bullet. That is what got the authorities’ attention because I had so much evidence that was correct that they told me to seek cover and to get protection that my life was truly in danger. He also said his dad would be happy to shoot me since he was a sharp shooter in the military. He then would walk through restraining orders with no consequence, would try to get the people where I would go to work at turn against me, even visiting surrounding businesses. He called my mother and tried to turn her against me and she called me and told me about it but she knew he was lying and would not believe him. Then I began getting jobs and he would find out where I was working and communicate with them and they would terminate me. It has happened everywhere I have worked for many years. Friends that I made turned against me, people that were my friends for years and not his will not speak to me, but I do say of them, they were not my friends anyway. I do know that he told some friends that came to me that he said I was on some medication and now refuse to take it and I could kill them, and they believed it. Fine. Good riddance. I mentioned it while applying for work at the da’s office and the lady said “it sounds like someone needs to move” and I said “I am not the criminal, he is, I leave him alone, and he just can’t get over it”. I also live in a small town but cannot move since I cannot afford it. I am very social but the rumors and the gossip is very bad in this small town since it seems like that is all they have. I would love to prosecute since I am a very professional person and this has affected my career. I would always say I’d rather die a thousand deaths than to relive a moment that I lived with him.

  • July 12, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    This is one of the better articles written about narcissists. I agree 100% that their existence is their punishment. I was married for 16 years to a covert narc. I did not realize he was a narc until I started going to therapy for myself. Now many months later it’s all so clear. It hasn’t been quite a year but very close. It has been a rude awakening for me as I feel I had been blindsided and the person I married I never really knew. The most devastating is to learn how callous they are and the depth of deception…that I never truly mattered to him, and he never loved me. It’s definitely been shocking and it’s such a process to get past. I still don’t feel completely healed but I’m working my way through. I’m grateful to be free of this person and to realize the truth. Again, thank you for this article. It makes so much sense and confirms what I already realized for myself deep inside.


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