Narcissists and Empaths: The Ego Dynamic

There’s a lot of buzz in the media these days about Empaths/Highly Sensitives and Narcissists attracting to one another.  One popular theory is that Narcissists prey on Empaths and Sensitives because of their overly giving nature.  While that is primarily true, there is another reason that goes even deeper, and it has to do with ego.


First, let’s consider the definition of egotistical as it relates to Narcissists in general:


  1. Excessively conceited or absorbed in oneself; self-centered.
  2. Arrogance, selfishness, greed, a sense of entitlement to whatever one wants.

Too much ego can lead to serious problems with treating people as means to ends: such people (i.e., Narcissists) feel entitled to do whatever it takes to get what he/she wants. This leads to abuses of ends/means reasoning (using other people to fulfill ego’s wants).

It’s no surprise that the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (DSM-IV) states that people with the disorder:

  1. have a grandiose sense of self-importance
  2. have a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  3. are interpersonally exploitative, i.e., taking advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends


Empaths do possess an ego to some degree, but don’t operate solely from ego as Narcissists do.  For an Empath, ego is experienced primarily in judging others and feelings of anger/resentment.  These ego-driven emotions are usually incited in the Empath/HSP after witnessing acts of cruelty and hatred, interactions which they consider unfair or one-sided, and similar incidents.

Empaths operate predominately from love, humility, and giving.  They have a natural capacity for healing and teaching others.  However, until they learn how to responsibly use those gifts, they are often taken advantage of…not only by romantic partners, but people in general.

Many Empaths don’t realize what they are, and go through life feeling used and unfulfilled.  The Empath persona encompasses several personality types and traits and can include:

  • INFJ
  • ENFJ
  • Melancholic
  • Introvert
  • Intuitive

(**These are the main types, and listed simply as a matter of reference)

The Magnetic Attraction

The Empath’s soul purpose is to facilitate healing in others.  Unfortunately, they usually ignore their own needs in doing so.  They have a propensity to feel what’s going on outside of them more so than what’s inside.  In general an empath is non-violent, non-aggressive and leans more towards being the peacemaker. Any area filled with disharmony creates distress in an Empath. If they find themselves in the middle of a conflict, they will strive to resolve the situation as quickly as possible, if not avoid it all together. Because of these natural tendencies, the unaware Empath often finds themselves staying in a relationship with a toxic personality for too long.  Further, Empaths often have a track record of developing codependent behaviors in childhood to deal with the overwhelm of unfairness in the world and to please others, which they usually carry into their adult relationships…until a soul crises happens where they are forced into awakening.

Empaths operate from their authentic self, even if they aren’t aware they are an Empath.  Essentially, they associate with the life force, healing, and the urge to create what was not there before, such as when they try to “fix” people or situations, or help others heal and awaken.

Narcissists, on the other hand, don’t have an authentic self.  If they had one as a child, it was stifled by ego as a defense mechanism.  Their ego demands attention to its hurts, traumas and concerns in a way that insists upon separation and control.  This prevents their ability to bond with other people, and explains why their whole concept of reality consists of fulfilling the demands of their ego.  Therefore, they use people without concern for the pain and trauma they cause them.

When the Empath and Narcissist enter into a relationship together, it creates a magnetic, yet vibrationally dysfunctional union because the Empath gives to the point of complete and utter exhaustion.  They will give every last effort to “fix” the Narcissist and the relationship, but it never happens.  The Narcissist cannot assess another’s perspective because their ego won’t allow that, thus there is no motive for the Narcissist to change.  In fact, attempts to “help” the Narcissist and draw attention to their dysfunctional behaviors often make the Narcissist worse because it contradicts the cravings of their ego.

It also profoundly disorients the Empath, who is often destroyed by the relationship.  However, it’s at this point that the unaware Empath experiences a soul crisis and comes to realize what they are.  Though the experience with the Narcissist is painful and overwhelming, the Empath usually learns their soul lessons and undergoes an awakening, whereas the Narcissist remains the same.

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Broederlow, C. (2013, October 24). 30 traits of an Empath (How to know if you’re an Empath). Retrieved April 1, 2014, from 
Happe, M. (2011, August 12). The Relationship between Narcissism and Codependency. Retrieved April 3, 2014, from
Lemieux, M. (2013, November 1). Spiritual Warrior Journals (Blog): 50 Traits of being an Empath (Vulnerabilities) – Part II:. Retrieved April 7, 2014, from
Are You a Magnet for Narcissists? (2013, July 20). Retrieved April 10, 2014, from


  1. Jerry H.

    So true, and exactly what has happened in my life. Slowly recovering but I am a lot stronger now and able to deal with it. I love my single life after 4 years of abuse. Some times I get lonely ( I am 63 and married 3 times) but go to AA meetings to mingle, and to Church on occasion. My Church is where I met this person, so I found a different Church to attend.

  2. Fi

    That is very interesting and EXACTLY what happened with my mother(narcissist) and myself ( empath). Also why I continued to attract the same type of people after her death. Until I woke up!

  3. scott

    i just realized one yr post g finale fail, that in where i finnally had enough that i told the nasty mean woman just what she was ,even though i did not know it was as terrible as i just learned.she did come over to try to fullfill her gran finale and basically i threw her out and threaten to expose her to all,,,,no contact still after a yr but me all this time broken beyond i thought so ive been manifesting tp sonmehow make her love me ,still sick ,and just a week or so i started doing youtube tarot readings and they nail it everytime,except for they cant see who she really is (sicko) either.and so i went into hyper manifest all areas of life including her,and the readings almost sucked me into her web forever cause it spoke of how bad she needs me to run to soon n marry and nurish her two babies ,i tyake it her new husband left or isd going to ,the card readers kept seeing the 3 party sometimes4 separate relationships inreads,this made me look closer and right up to the day i tried contact thru fb invite w no answer ,but she was having baby shower sop i think i was extremlyn lucky to of otten insight asgain to shut down any posts relating to mental health,and stoppedthe invite to fb aswell ,when i came across the youtube articlkes about narcissistic ,and wham it hit hard i then went back to my first 10 th grade g f who i know now was a narc as was 2 other lovers short stay, but right before this last one was a full 10 yr hell of being beaten in mind and soul ,this one as wel i had luckily ended w letter, but a yr later was at her house she wanted to start again and i agreed until i woke to hear her screwing this guy in the b room and when confronted she just acted like there never was the get back conversatioon earlier that day ,,,tottally fuckrd i went to bmy fdamily s and it was when i lost three brothers and my beautiful soul mother did the last one show to try to kill me i guess ,,how utterly evil these people are , more than 1/2 my 57 yr life spent sad unkowing whop and why it was happenig ,, fkrs… i made a post stating all was well and i would try to re make frinds with lost lover being vague so as not to tip her off i know what she is ,for safty reasonsd i am disclossing name in case smthin bad becomes oig=f me due toi close in town deal.. b p cp or.. i will check my mail for updates and keep no contact, but fb will see general how i am self help for depression of being used and she shouldnt catch on .. i am not gonna answer any attempts to hook up and keep distance ,ok this is a crime , she has at least 4 that i know of going at a time ,,pig disgusting waste of human .., m

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  6. Very painful lesson. No contact is working. Moving forward very nicely now. Give yourself a year to learn ,heal,and be gentle with yourself. Its not only mental but physical pain.
    Find your authentic self again and don’t look back. I had an entire false family of these
    Vampires. No they never see themselves
    for what they are.Always someone else or
    something else caused it.I’m trying to help my son who was nearly destroyed by the neglect and ultimately the discard by his dad. What an
    A-hole.good to be free at last!
    I grieved a year then bought a house! Wow!
    Looking to the future!!
    Give yourself some TLC..keep moving forward.

  7. Jefg

    I read this thanks it helped a lot, the understanding why certain people migrate toward me I’m getting pretty good about pushing away from the people with narcissism they’re the ones who blatantly try to use you
    Until now I didn’t know what was going on and why these people migrated toward me, helping people is not a bad thing but beware I will you help and why they want help

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  10. Karissa

    I think the HSP has an intuitive understanding of the narcissist 1) because the HSP, like the NPD, was often raised by narcissist(or parents in a narcissistic state) and 2) because as you mentioned, the HSP is in a way, the opposite of the narcissistic personality. But opposite does not necessarily imply fundamentally different. No, I believe that the narcissist and the HSP are only perceptually opposite but are in fact, more like siblings who have been raised in the same dysfunctional home yet manifesting traits that appear to be opposing but are in fact of the same origin.

    The HSP is perceptive enough to know that the narcissist is actually acting/pretending and putting on a show *in order to hide* deeply buried shame. This motivates an empathetic response from the HSP who also understands shame and inspires them to urge the narcissist to reveal themselves by engaging them in intimacy. I think the NPD and the HSP are fundamentally sensitive at birth relative to the general population.

  11. Not knowing who we are as individuals can be fatal. After my encounter with a Narc, I did experience an inner death.

    I am reborn now.

    I take care of myself more; I’ve learned to turn all that energy that I was putting into others and put it towards myself. I am happier and I am calm again. As painful as it was, I indeed learned a lesson from what happened to me and now understand that even though I may want to “help” someone else – using my trust, love, and compassion to do so may be detrimental to myself – should that person not be worthy.

    To thine own self be true.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Beautiful, seoulguy22. Thank you for such inspirational insight <3

  12. Cotton

    I just discovered today that I am an empath. I took a quiz and it came up that I was 100% an empath. This is enlightening. I cannot stand when an animal or person is in pain. I actually can feel the pain and feel like I can’t breathe. I am currently going “No Contact” (it’s only been a week) from who I thought was the love of my life (25 years off and on). I thought going “no contact” would bring me relief. It has not. 🙁 He, I have known for a long time, is a malignant narcissist. I am devastated. I can’t eat, sleep, function. I feel hopeless. Thanks for your article.

    1. Hi Cotton

      your words ring true to me: the feeling of hopelessness and devastation. What you’re feeling will have to take time to work through and process but know that the “no contact” rule is your best friend. Respect it and don’t go back on your promise to not contact him or allow him to contact you ever again. Mentally and emotionally you need that break.

      No matter what happened in the past, you have the power within you to move forward. Don’t try to rush the process; let it take however long it needs to. In that time, work on you: read, write, keep an audio journal of your thoughts and feelings. Smudge your room / home to clear it of all of your ex’s negative energy.

      From this point on: you have to protect yourself. Don’t let anyone get close to you with they aren’t worthy. Trust your instincts: as an empath you are more aware and you already know it. Believe that all good will settle in your life in due time.

      Peace with be you.

    2. Karen

      You will find your hope again, I pray. I’m 1 year no contact. Still struggling but have hope. We are here for you. I’m 100% empath ENFJ. Sign up for Kim’s bootcamp and you will be a part of the most supportive loving group of narcissistically abused survivors. I don’t know what I would have done without them. Karen

  13. deleted

    I am having an emotional meltdown with all the realisations I am having about ALL the people in my life right now.
    I have always upset my mum, my whole life has been on egg shells because I have been convinced that I was behaving inappropriately, being selfish & not doing “more than what people expect from me” as she would put it.

    I am now in my thirties married with a young family, living with my mum in a granny flat on the block. Every day she would have things she needed to be done & nothing could come before her. Not my kids, job, partner or myself. I was even on rest for a high risk pregnancy and she had me fixing her kitchen in an investment property!

    One day she had one of her usual tantrums because a trades person I had organised to do some work for me didn’t do her work first. The tantrum was slamming doors and well inappropriate behaviour for a 60+ year old so I thought bipolar?

    After some Doctor google it is clear- she is a narcissist.
    I decided not to go running and apologising and “fixing” the relationship , just sit back to see if she would reconcile.
    That was 6 months ago, she still has not spoken to me. I even had my daughter 3 months ago, she still hasn’t met her. She lives 20metres away!
    She sent me an email to ell the house, which we are.

    My partner has Aspergers & turns out also has narcissistic traits.
    I am so an empath!!
    What an awakening.

  14. Anonymous

    I am having an emotional meltdown with all the realisations I am having about ALL the people in my life right now.
    I have always upset my mum, my whole life has been on egg shells because I have been convinced that I was behaving inappropriately, being selfish & not doing “more than what people expect from me” as she would put it.

    I am now in my thirties married with a young family, living with my mum in a granny flat on the block. Every day she would have things she needed to be done & nothing could come before her. Not my kids, job, partner or myself. I was even on rest for a high risk pregnancy and she had me fixing her kitchen in an investment property!

    One day she had one of her usual tantrums because a trades person I had organised to do some work for me didn’t do her work first. The tantrum was slamming doors and well inappropriate behaviour for a 60+ year old so I thought bipolar?

    After some Doctor google it is clear- she is a narcissist.
    I decided not to go running and apologising and “fixing” the relationship , just sit back to see if she would reconcile.
    That was 6 months ago, she still has not spoken to me. I even had my daughter 3 months ago, she still hasn’t met her. She lives 20metres away!
    She sent me an email to ell the house, which we are.

    My partner has Aspergers & turns out also has narcissistic traits.
    I am so an empath!!
    What an awakening.

  15. LC

    Thank you for your blog. This is something I’ve been coping with, along with co-dependency for a long time, specifically the past 2 years in a relationship with a Narcissist. I’ve tried to convince myself of what I knew to no avail- still struggling- but your blog has put a name to something I couldn’t pinpoint exactly. That identification & clarity has already helped immensely.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you for sharing, LC. I’m so happy to know my article helped you. Wishing you all the very best in your healing journey <3

  16. Anna

    When I first called him a sociopath I honestly couldn’t told anyone the definition and I truly don’t know why I called him that. Yet the more we are apart and yet still in contact at times, and since I have read the definitions of narcissism and of sociopath I am able to clearly see him. The problem is somewhere along the way of his alcaholism, infidelity, lying, verbal AND physical abuse I convinced myself that I loved him. Now though he has moved on and has had 3 new relationships I am still struggling with letting go of the idea of him and I. Yes I KNOW what I SHOULD do I just can’t seem to find enough self love to do it.

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  18. Feisty Blogger

    Kim, I have been listening to one of your YouTube videos on self love and acceptance EVERY MORNING this past week. Then someone in a private Facebook I belong to for survivors posted this article. Talk about syncronicity! Thank you for all that you do. 🙂

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you for sharing that, Feisty Blogger! So good to have you in our tribe 🙂

  19. Dana

    Thank you! This very much describes my experience. Soul crisis and all. And you are right, life did begin after no contact. And now I am free because I realize I am not the only one this is happening too. Thanks.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you for sharing that, Dana. I’m so glad that you stopped by and helped spread the news that a better life is indeed possible after No Contact 🙂

  20. Anonymous

    I am an Empath,I came upon this site ,well I know this site came to me. I didn’t even realize this existed , I only came to learn I’m an Empath and see the underlying truths of the Narcissistic .which came upon me ,I heard the word Narcissistic . .didn’t know what it ment,upon realizing that I do atraket these types in and around my life! Ahhhhhh.. it’s like an awwww moment all so feeling more intuitive sensitive , but as you said , all so a Curse . People all so tend to drain me ,I have to ground my energy , meditation to find myself and get more into myself . Yes…it most definitely is a curse as well . Love , peace , & loving Angel love ~

  21. Ann

    I am pretty sure I am an “empath,” and my husband has some NPD and some quite strong psychopathy personality traits. In the beginning of the relationship, part of my attraction for him was his declaration of his “suffering” (from previous relationship, and in childhood), his risk-seeking/self-destructive and daring tendencies, and the fact that he needed special TLC (he brought it up openly) and a very understanding/caring non-demanding and “quiet”/soft partner. I felt so sorry for him, I wanted to “save” him, help him, I believed his words that he suffered and wanted to hug him, protect him, show him how much I loved him, and take care of him. Maybe I also projected my self-image onto him, I felt that he and I were similar in our childhood stories, and I wanted to help him in that. I suppose, at some level I was proud to be able to be this ever-understanding, very caring & nurturing person, and attempt to “fix” my partner’s problems. Possibly this made him more attractive to me than a “no-issues” man. Also, I think I subconsciously believed that my “devotion” and care would eventually “fix him” and he would love me for that just as much as I loved him. So it was a somewhat selfish motive on my side: it was important for me that my partner was happy and “healed” and that he was with me/loved me. I also hoped it would help to ensure the strength of our bond and relationship. I thought: if I can give him what/everything he wants, he will truly love me and would be willing to give me what I want to (“live happily ever after”).
    First 5-6 years of the relationship I was enjoying the acts of giving (attention, love, caring, understanding, gifts and so on) to my husband and never expected or asked for anything in return. It was good enough that he agreed to take what I offered him. It made me happy that he seemed to be enjoying my offerings and he wanted to be with me. Then I started noticing that I was never on his list of priorities, everything else was his priority but me, and this made me unhappy. This also started bringing noticeable discomfort to my life. I was willing to give (my time, attention, resources) to my husband, but sacrificing my interests and convenience for his friends and acquaintances wasn’t something I felt comfortable doing. Moreover, it was draining me dry and made my life an unpredictable havoc. This was when I realized that I wanted to give, but also to receive, to have some importance for my husband, to be at least as important and be treated with the same respect as other people in his life. I always tried to compliment him, valued him highly, spoke of him with greatest respect, whereas in return he was giving me just the opposite. The more I “built his ego” and “helped him to heal,” the more he was devaluing me and bringing me down. The better I spoke about him to our friends and his colleagues, the poorer and insulting references he was giving about me to my friends and colleagues, damaging my image in every possible way.
    Around the same time, gradually, I started feeling my husband’s resistance to what I offered him: he shut off and ignored me, boycotted me; ridiculed me, ridiculed, “lost,” or destroyed my gifts. He started doing things in spite, in a passive-aggressive way: if he knew I couldn’t tolerate something, he would do just that. If he knew something (other than him) was important to me, he would try to undermine or prevent it (my work, hobbies, friends, anything). He would turn for my help when he needed it, then next week or month ignore me completely and it looked like any form of my attention was a burden for him. After 10 years together I started feeling exhausted. Still loved him but was afraid to speak to him because of his negative reaction, was afraid to give him presents not to make him angry. Marriage became like walking on eggshells all the time. Then I thought that maybe indeed my attention to him was suffocating for him, maybe I loved him too much. So I started reducing the volume of TLC for my husband and added some new hobbies and interests to my life. In response to that my husband suddenly became bitter and told me that he should be always the center of my attention, and that other normal/proper women do treat their men like that (man is the center of their universe), whereas some “other” women (reference to me) only pretend to be caring in the beginning of the relationship and after they get the man’s commitment, they become selfish and are happily enjoying themselves instead of tending to the emotional (and all other) needs of their men (this is more or less exact quote of what my husband told me, and some of our friends on multiple occasions). He makes it sound like enjoying myself, being happy, and doing things I like is a crime and I have no right for that. At the same time, he often complains that I do not enjoy the things he likes as much as he does (most of them involving some sort of risk, some – life threatening, some are just unhealthy like drinking).
    He always liked alcohol and in the past several years I think his condition qualifies for “alcoholic”. He refuses to seek professional help or stop drinking. He refuses to seek therapy or family counseling. He tells me no one is smarter than him and no one can tell him anything he doesn’t know already.
    During 15 years of our relationship I never did or said a bad or insulting thing to my husband, although in the last few years I have been allowing myself to tell him when his behavior was inappropriate, asking him to act in a certain way, or not to do certain things, at least not in public. Although I tried to do it as respectfully and politely as possible, I understand that this must have been extremely annoying to him – to be corrected and “taught” this way, as if I have some authority and he suddenly doesn’t. He, on the contrary, did and said quite many bad and insulting things about me, and is unhappy that society orders him to follow certain etiquette and norms on how to treat people or spouses. He seems to think the norms work or should work only in one direction: to his benefit. To be just, he also said and did many good things for me too, and this is why all these years it was so confusing – the magnitude of difference between his “happy/good side” and his “unhappy/bad side.”
    During 15 years of our relationship we never had a fight because I avoided them at any cost. I dread conflicts in relationships because my parents had nasty fights all the time, and as a child I promised to myself “I will never be like that”. With my husband we did have many one-way “sessions” when my he was insulting me and attacking me verbally, and I was trying to calmly dissipate and discuss the problem, usually express my willingness to accommodate his requests, sometimes express my concerns in the respectful manner, or simply telling him that his words are hurtful and unjust. On several occasions I offered him the divorce after several hours of his insults and complaints. He apologized and said he didn’t mean to upset me and please let’s not divorce because I am important to him. Over time his acute verbal attacks gradually started becoming more aggressive, although fairly seldom. Recently he reached the threshold of physical aggression, now he occasionally intimidates me. When he threw a household item at me and I saw how much he hates me, I realized that I am now afraid of my husband, afraid to be in my home, afraid of what he may do, afraid of the fact that he hates me. I also suddenly realized that I feel like a child again, exactly same situation when I am feeling small, helpless and scared, and “family authority” is screaming at me and telling bad/insulting/devaluing things about me, and painful beating will follow if not now then next time. The terror that I thought i’ve buried many years ago deep in my memories, now is alive again and sore. I realized that although I am a grown woman, I am afraid of my husband as much as I once used to be afraid of my parents. I no longer want to “help” my husband or “fix” him, because I realized it’s not my task to do that, perhaps there is no need to help him or fix anything about him, I just want to be out of this situation of fear and hopeful-hopeless unhappiness. After all these years, I think I finally reached the point of utmost exhaustion, a zero, nothing-ness. I think I still love my husband at some level, but I have no energy or interest anymore. I feel like he “broke my will” or perhaps “broke me.” I never realized what this term means until I felt it few months ago, after 15 years of relationship/marriage. Basically I no longer care, and this is a very unusual state for me, because normally I do care, especially about people.

    He told me on multiple occasions that he likes to find an “overall positive/good” person, provoke and dig out some dirt in their personalities, because he believes that everyone is bad, you just need to find it. This is why (according to him) he particularly enjoys meeting “good girls” or “good people” and proving that they are intrinsically bad. Basically, when we met, both he and I had a very similar motive to “fix”/repair each other. Only I believed that he is a genuinely good person with temporary problems who needs to be helped/healed/”fixed” and then he will be 100% good again, whereas he believed that I (or anybody else who appears “good”) am bad somewhere “deep down there,” and he was on a mission to reveal that, to “fix me” and bring out the worst in me. I am aware that he went on the very same mission with several other women during our marriage, in some of them he had romantic interest, with others it was just the “I’ll fix them and prove they are bad, just as bad as me or worse, everyone is bad” motive. I know of it because he openly bragged that he discovered a “bad side” in X, or declared that Y has the image of a good person but he will prove this wrong. He discussed the techniques he uses to “brake” the person and “open up” their true nature, and he openly admitted he enjoys the process.
    I do not think that my husband is a bad person, or I am a good person, we both have some good and bad traits. He is a very bright, well-educated and successful person. And I am too. But we do not seem to be a very good match for each other. In the end he is unhappy with me, and I am unhappy with him. At the early stages of our relationship we both wanted to be happy not with a real “as is” person but with an image of a “partner perfect for me” someone we can create by our efforts to “fix and improve” (the way each of us respectively views this “improvement”). What’s perplexing is how much our mismatch was obvious from the start had we cared to pay attention to the signs. But both of us were interested in each other despite our differences and “personally unacceptable/intolerable” character traits. Maybe both of us were excited of the challenge and accepted it because it looked so challenging and unlikely.
    I do not know how damaging this relationship was/is for my husband, but it clearly is destructive/damaging for me, for my personality, ego, self-image, everything I believe (or used to believe) I am, value and aspire in life.
    On a positive side, the course of this relationship stimulated me for profound soul-searching.

    I think the motive of many empath’s to “help others” is fueled by some internal need to “fix” something about themselves/their history/past events and relationship. Some “internal error code” doesn’t let them relax and stop caring so much. Maybe they want to re-live and do differently something that happened in the past, fix it. But they do not know how to handle these past memories or simply can’t fix something that happened years ago. Hence they embark on a mission of fixing things around them, hoping that somehow these events will balance each other and this will bring peace to their souls. It often seems easier and more actionable to offer helping hand to others and feel good about yourself, than to face own fears and weaknesses or painful memories. Observing a suffering and injustice is painful, offering help is a quick “painkiller.” I also think that some of the empathic traits probably are in-born/genetically pre-determined. From my early childhood I remember myself feeling strong discomfort from seeing “plants in pain”, let alone animals or people. As long as I can remember myself I’ve picked thrown away sick potted plants and nurtured them back to health, fixed broken branches on trees, never could pass by a sick animal and they always approach me fearlessly, brought back to health quite many injured birds. Sometimes it’s sufficient for me to notice a sick animal or bird and think compassionately about them, without saying a word, and they start walking/moving towards me, sometimes from afar. Even now discomfort from seeing suffering plants is so strong that I occasionally buy “dying plants” in local store just because they have no chance to survive in the store or be bought by someone else. I have to control myself not to become a plant or animal hoarder. It’s a sheer luck for me that there not that many stray animals in USA and I don’t see them on the streets. Otherwise I’d be feeling sorry for them all the time.

    1. Christy Biehl

      Wow thank you for this in shock at how much your story is like mine

  22. anonymous

    Thank you for this article. I spent one year with a narcissist before he intentionally got me pregnant knowing I wasn’t ready, which has ended up being the biggest blessing of my life (my sweet child) as well as my biggest curse (trapped and unable to cut him out of my life completely). Although we are separated and I have cut as many ties as possible with him, he continues to emotionally and verbally abuse me, threaten me, etc. I do not know what to do. He is dating others, however when he found out I was thinking about dating he went absolutely psychotic and publicly shamed and embarrassed me. I am lost and feel completey trapped.

  23. Rachel

    He made me accept things though truly. I feel like being the daughter of a narcissist, whom my mother initiated scapegoat, he answered questions to my soul. I knew what Micheal was walking in and that is the part I hate the most. I went into the relationship knowing. He took a lot from me, everything actually, repeating the same thing my mother did to me at 15. In the beginning of the relationship I would joke about how narcisstic he was. By the end of the relationship though when I was finally drained emotionally with nothing left to give for him to take. It then basically became a battle of wills. Micheal of course “won” he took my home, my life ruined my name. And then got with the neighbor girl. After that didn’t work moved to a different state. It was really hard at first and still is but this article really hit head on with the spiritual awakening stuff. I get it now. I can’t empathize with Micheal on what he does to cover up the pain. I can’t empathize with destroying others to bring yourself gain. I always knew I was different. Being an empath can get you into a lot of trouble as you try aimlessly to make everyone else happy. Or you constantly feed of the emotions of others. Giving you your own game of charades. I did not know what I was this morning. Actually my deepest fear was that I was the bad one. But this was spot on thank you. It truly helped.

  24. Rachel

    I realized something tonight. I spent so much time trying to save him. Make him feel. Cry. Accept. Because thats how he will live and be happy. He ruined my entire life and I still spend a lot of my time crying over how empty HE is how miserable and sad he is. He has been gone 3 monthes and I drive myself crazy even knowing the truth that he has to go through life like that. My mom was a narcissistic too. I know that’s another reason my heart breaks. I hate that there is no answer to the emptiness of there soul. I hate the despair I feel just seeing how empty he was and is. I hate that I know the outcome. That he will ALWAYS be miserable. I hate that even though he doesn’t know what love is. I really did love HIM. The real him. I hate that love doesn’t save this time. That there is nothing I can do to heal his wounds. That there is nothing I can say to make him see. I hate that even though he literally destroyed me. Isn’t even around. I still am here trying aimlessly to save him.

  25. Hey, I’ve been reading a lot on empaths lately and I’m trying to decide if I am one or not. It’s difficult to tell because I don’t experience myself.
    I had grown up, with what I believe is a narcissistic father which complicates things too. I remember being very shy as a child. If kids were hurt or bullied I’d end up befriending them and hearing their side and trying to empower/ make them feel better. I remember being very sensitive to sound. For example, we had fire drills in preschool and they had to take me out of the building for them. I remember feeling, and still do, at sad movies they’d always make me cry. And I often find people come to me for advice and I’ve been described as “wise beyond my years”.
    My first relationship was very much with an abuser. He used sympathy. He would start crying if I tried to bring something up and then I’d find myself consoling him.when I tried to break up he got so angry and violent he ended up dislocation his arm and I spent the night in the hospital with him. I’m not even sure if he was lying about that to this day.
    My last boyfriend seemed perfect and I adored him. But he just used me too because he was lonewly and depressed (he was an internatonal atudent) until he decided he wanted to get rich and move away and he broke up with me. He then pointed out all my flaws in character and I know I internalized that.
    I didn’t date for 2 years. I was sick of being taken advantage of. And then I finally gave some guy a chance (thank god only for 4 months). He started off great. So kind and flattering. Bu then I started going through a very difficult time and experienced severe anxiety-which I’ve always struggled with. At first he would say things like, “I think you’re really good for me,” amd it would be mixed with “we can keep dating until you find someone else” or “I don’t know why you’re dating me you could do better.” I told him he needed to stop thinking like that. I tried to lay out boundaries but he wouldn’t listen to them. I told him I didn’t like certain things (that hurt me) and he would say “I think you do like it.” One time I spilled milk amd I could feel him watching me amd he freaked out and said how I need to be more careful. And all I could think was RED FLAG. But I thought maybe it was a one time thing. But my subconscious wouldn’t let me ignore it, I ended up trying to bring up issues and he actually said, “there are people dying in Africa but you’re worried about this.” But I knew that “this” stuff I was bringing up was important. I knew they were red flags that would only worsen. He would say, well I’ve never done anything abusive, and list all the nice physical things but it was the emotional things I was worried about. He would say things about how he knew he was going to be big, he had a vision- but I’ve never seen him take any action or hear any clear vision. He said, when I broke up with him, with this sulky loom on his face, ” how he felt like he didn’t want to stay here, there was nothing left for him. To stop him from just leaving.” I finally broke up with him. This is exactly how abuse starts.
    I feel like I’ve gotten stronger and more aware. But each time I date they take a piece of me I’ll never get back. They try to drain me of everything I have to give. I’m so sick of trying to date. Or thinking, wow I’ll give this guy a chance only to have everything turn out the same.
    I don’t know if I’m truly an empath or not. I mean, can they feel this bitterness? I feel like a total magnet for these guys. And it just leaves me wondering if maybe I’m the shitty person, maybe I’m the problem- I’m so awful maybe I only deserve to date men like this. Or maybe I need to change and become more domestic like my second boyfriend pointed out I lacked in.

  26. anonymous

    I was married to a passive/aggressive man who spent 15 years tying me in knots. After leaving & going back several times I finally divorced him for good. Only to get involved with a Narcissist!! I’ve spent half my life with disfunctional men. I’ve been with this one for 7 years, I know what he is and I’m planning my exit, I am financially stuck here at the moment. I’m tired of being his biggest fan & number one supporter. The constant stroking is exhausting! My questions is…why do I care that he won’t miss a beat when I leave? After all the time, energy & love that I have invested into him, he is indifferent to me.

    1. Anonymous

      This article describes my relationship with the person I thought was the love of my life. I would have given him anything and everything, but he was a manipulative, lying narcissist. I went through hell when he left. I blamed myself and he encouraged this. I tried so many times to fix things, but they always ended with me on my knees, crying out my soul. He enjoyed putting me through this entire process. It was his little game. To me, it wasn’t just abuse, it was torture. I finally gave up and focused on healing myself. It took over two years. I don’t have feelings for him anymore, but the memories still hurt. I guess caring matters to us because when you care about someone so deeply, not only do they become a part of you, but you leave part of yourself with them. I went through this “soul crisis” because I was in so much pain and I didn’t know who I was without him. Keep trying, because even though it’s a long road, you can make yourself a better person despite all the agony, the tears, the anger, the longing… You will find yourself again.

      1. Kim Saeed

        Thank you for sharing your story and this gem of insight with us <3

  27. Tiffany Flinn

    I have had a relationship with a narcissist. They do not care about anything but themselves conscious or not.You will spend years,months etc. Trying to fix the problem and that is what a narcissist craves is attention about themselves. It does not matter what is happening to you or how you feel.A narcissist always has it worse.The only way to deal with a narcissist is to leave completely. Cut every tie.They cant win the game if you refuse to play.

  28. Anonymous

    Hi Kim,

    I believe I was in a relationship with a narcissist, or maybe similar behavior. He broke it off after almost 2 years, which I am honestly thankful for despite having loved him. He was so charming at first and seemed genuinely engaged in what I had to say, it was like he blocked everything out to listen to me. He told me he knew I was “different” and wanted to be with me because of it. He was sweet; I had never had that experience with a man before. Then things got increasingly strange. He would always talk circles around me and I’d end up being incredibly confused and would then question my own thoughts and sanity. I felt like I was being tortured mentally, it was absolutely horrible. He would always tell me to be accountable for the things I’d do wrong and I’d have to say I was sorry but when it came to my feelings, he’d say “I don’t make you feel anything, you make yourself feel them.” That holds truth, being responsible for your own emotions and feelings are important in living a happier life, so some of the things he’d say made sense, but I could feel in my gut that it was coming from a bad place. That would make me confused then, since some of the things he said holds truth, and I would end up thinking that I have serious problems. In very heated arguments I’d want to take a breathing break to step away from the argument so I could collect myself and my thoughts to come back with a calmer mind to really address the problem because arguments always stray from the actual problem, but he did NOT want me to do that because that was not his way of dealing with things (his exact words, and he would get really mad if I tried to take a break), he wanted to stay in the argument no matter how heated, and now I’m thinking he wanted to do that to manipulate and twist the argument so I’d be the one at fault and he was the victim (which is what would happen and I’d be left feeling terrible about myself). He specifically told me that he does not want to change who he is and that he shouldn’t have to change, and he said this without me even mentioning change. Change is a natural part of life and I found it strange that he willingly prefers stagnation. He would nit pick everything I’d do and when I was really proud of something and I wanted to show him, he’d downplay it by pointing out something stupid about it (my drawings, my writings, my college papers) and even spoke down on my desired career, psychology. He never wanted to talk about my As, my honors classes, or my being on the Dean’s List because it “made him feel bad about himself” so he told me I wasn’t allowed to talk about my academic accomplishments. There’s so much more I could say but it’d be a novel, so I’ll leave it at that, at least about him. What do you make of this, Kim? A narcissist or just a very immature person?

    After it ended, I felt such an intense spiritual awakening, it was so strong and fast at first and it literally felt like my spirit was waking up. I felt things deeper than I ever had before. I loved being alone because that’s when parts of my soul would wake up. Everything had clarity, it was like I was in harmony with everything in and out of me. It’s slowed down now, but I continue to feel things very deeply and empathize with people and animals often. I always have, but it’s so much deeper now. I took the MBTI (I think that’s what it is?) test two days ago and my personality type is INFJ, so I suppose I am an empath. I cried when I read the part where you mention that after a relationship with a narcissist, there’s a soul crisis for the empath and they realize what they are, because it described EXACTLY what I had gone through. It was unbelievable to see my personal experience in someone else’s writing. It completely validated and confirmed that my situation was real and true. Thank you so much for this, from the bottom of my heart, thank you

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you for sharing your story, Anon. I teared up when you said you cried while reading my article about the awakening Empath. I’m so happy for you because I know there are better days ahead for you. Your intuition will make sure of that <3

      1. Anonymous

        I am reading these posts and feel desperate to find understanding. I am so confused. I have had many toxic relationships that have fed my insecurities by affirming my worst suspicions. I have undergone therapy and realise and accept my past controlling behaviours that I was unaware of. I realise that they came from fear and have now faced that fear.
        I have been in a relationship for nearly two years now. My partner is in recovery from alcolism. I find myself in a confusing place again, unsure what is me and what is him. He constantly tells me I am selfish, the most selfish person he has ever known.
        Today I asked him if we are ok as he is non receptive to any physical (non sexual touch) even pushing my hand away when I attempted to hug him. He says I am lying. He has has had a head ache for days and I am just offering comfort but feel hurt by his reaction. He says it’s all about me and my concern is always fake.
        He then drags up any little thing from past telling me I am a liar and redifining what I think until I feel I don’t know. Says I should do the 12 steps but I’m too lazy. I do attend a counselling group but I keep that secret as when I was having therapy he always mocked it.
        Yesterday I messaged him and suggested he must be very tired from the head ache and that I would cook after work, I said I don’t know what but somthing easy. He replied…. what? Now you want me tell you what to cook, forget it… I will cook. When I ask why he responds like this he tells me to get over it!
        I give this as an example of his daily treatment.
        I am so confused . Where do I start to make sense of this?
        I feel bad, weak and very confused.

        1. Kim Saeed

          Someone, I am sorry your partner treats you this way. No, it’s not you. When you mentioned you were controlling, it led me to wonder if you might be codependent, and I don’t mean because your partner is a recovering alcoholic, but because he is abusing you emotionally and I’m sure his behaviors have brought out your need to control your environment, which is one of the signs of codependent behaviors – which may have been triggered due to what seems to be narcissistic behaviors on his part. I understand why you are feeling bad and confused – he is torturing you. I know you want to help him, but from the outside looking in, I can see he is bent on punishing you. To answer your question, you can’t make sense of the situation because these people always change the goal posts. You are being abused, Someone, and I sincerely hope you can find a way to detach and leave. You do not deserve to be treated that way.

  29. Joan G. Connor

    Yes, My husband of 37 years was a perfect example of a narcissistic Psychopath and I was a perfect empath. He walked out on me when he retired and married someone else never looking back. I was totally devastated but am finally feeling in control of my life. I worry about my children and have occational breakdowns but am on the mend. I am 69 years old so I don’t expect to find love again but am happy with friends and family. I don’t think I will ever get used to being alone as this man was the “love of my life” as is often the case.

  30. Corliss Harris

    This dynamic can be racially motivated as well. As I have traveled I have encounter such broad narcissism from caucasian groups, educated or not, that had egos too big to listen to reason or allow them to see the error in false assumptions, especially about other races… to the point of other races playing the part of servant to the caucasians needs just to dwell near them. The limitation is the capacity to take in anything other than their own understanding in situations. And it really does feed itself.

  31. will

    Most comments here were frm empath women.. im an empathathic man obsessed with narcisist women.. thanks to articles like these tht ive just discovered, i can begin to break the cycle! Thanks! Thank goodness fr me is tht i also have a fear of commitment amd severe trust issues.. so i did commit to having a mor serious relationship with them.. but yet maintain a toxic friendship and hidden obsession fr them… nut i guess somethimg in me recognizes that they are no good for me! Or mayb certain forces ar watching out fr me.. but an insight that i can give on what attracts me to them is their outward confidence. Theyre often attractive and know how to own it and make the world theirs. I interpret this as strength.. and believe i lack it. Like an evil queen, and myself as her henchman.. often wantimg her love and affection.. but she nevr gives it.. only teases tht one day she will.. i guess i also have to work om my self worth.. and work on bounderies with my sensity.. so thanks again for this post.. fuck evil queens and their fake beauty!..

  32. Sandra

    Thanks for this article. I’ve known I’m an Empath for several years now. I didn’t know about the Narcissist/ Empath dynamic until recently, when I was on the internet looking for help. I went through a spiritual awakening through practicing yoga. I then saw that I was in a toxic pattern with a long time friend. I tried and tried to talk about it, tried to fix it, tried to set boundaries, tried to spend less time with him, always met with denial, disrespect, mocking and blaming me. I was so frustrated that I couldn’t get through, couldn’t make myself understood. Now I see why this is! What a relief. I’m still trying to break from this friendship, but he doesn’t want to let go.

  33. Anonymous

    I had spiritual awakening thanks to Narcissistic men.
    Hope, someday we will find a way to open their eyes.
    They need help.
    Deep inside they miserable, unbalanced human beings.

    I guess the best we can do for them and for ourselves is to step away.
    It’s really hard tho.

    Thanks for you article.
    Love & light

  34. Justin

    I am just finally divorcing my Narccisist wife of 11 years after suffering emotional abuse off and on the whole time. We have two children together (6 and 4 years of age) and I’m expecting the worst for our divorce, despite the fact that she has undergone routine therapy for years. My biggest fear/challenge/question is preventing the cycle of abuse from spreading to them. How do I teach them to set limits and not blame themselves for their mother’s rages? Anybody have some insight into this?

    1. Kim Saeed

      If you have joint custody, then the best approach would be to get your children in counseling. Not only for the purpose of helping them process any under-handed things your Ex might be doing, but if you are able to prove that their being with their mother is detrimental to their well-being, you might be able to have the custody order modified.

      It usually doesn’t help your case if you try to prove your Ex is a “narcissist”. In fact, Judges usually lose patience with that sort of thing (I say that from personal experience). Just document everything, stick to the facts, and collect what you can from your children’s counselor.

      My friend and colleague, Diana Iannarone, may be able to offer specific advice on the matter. She helps victims prepare for court against high-conflict people. It would definitely be worth scheduling a consultation with her to see if you have enough evidence to file a suit: Contact her for a free consultation:

      Wishing you all the very best <3

  35. Mitzi

    Hi, I’ve know for years I was a natural born empath. It Ina’s truly been a blessing and a curse in relationships. For so many years I found myself attracted to me that I thought I could fix. I could feel their potential I guess. Many times I found myself disappointed when I had to accept the fact that I was feeling something deeper than the choices they make. I have connected with many that I was supposed to try and help learn, some I have helped, other I have failed. The last lesson I have had to learn is to trust my institution and walk away with my dignity. Rather thantryin so passionately to make them see how wrong they are. Thank you for your article. I was very inspiring to me.

  36. Jennifer

    Oh my god! I laughed out loud when it came to the end. Yes yes yes it’s all so very true! Thank you so much for the artical it clairified everything in a way that I needed. I feel as if a huge burden had been lifted from my shoulders.

  37. trueself

    Thanks for helping me understand myself through your article. Yes, I learned about myself through several awakenings, resulting from several toxic relationships. I realized that I had a pattern of toxic relationships, and I, eventually, wanted to understand why I kept ending up in toxic relationships. Why? Because I was choosing them, I was actually drawn to this personality type. It took looking very deeply into my own like life, and years of reading, to sort out why I was drawn to this pattern, and why I was always so forgiving and understanding of other peoples pain in life, why I always felt their pain, and why I always felt that my partners just needed a little extra love and understanding to get through their difficulties in life. But I always felt used, used up, completely drained, and deceived at the end of all of these relationships. I was being used up by partners who simply weren’t able to give in a relationship, although they could surely act as though they were giving more than I was. I was trying to teach them how to learn and grow, I was trying to “fix” them by giving more love and support than I should have. I was being used up. I was letting that happen, if not excited to be in a relationship that required “a little extra” from me, because I could feel their pain. Well I could feel their pain, and their pain seemed to slowly become my pain, while my partners seemed to loose their pain. I was being projected onto, gaslighted, and many other behaviors characteristic of abusers, and I though I was being a strong supportive partner. I would get slowly get persuaded into thinking that focusing on myself, my own needs, was selfish and narcissistic. The short story long, is that I eventually came to find out that my mother does this to me, that I have a narcissistic mother(that’s an opinion, I’m not a doc), and that I most likely seek this behavior out because I’m unfortunately very familiar with it. But fortunately I have learned this, and that has allowed me to learn and grow. It’s not easy to work on the issues I face in life, but I do, and I will find a healthy paetner, because I am learning how to love myself enough to see warning signs of abusive behavior earlier on, and how protect myself as an empath.

  38. FoxyMcgee

    Hi Kim,
    What kind of person does the narcissist seek out the most and who do they derive more energy from? Would it be the empath, a person with BPD, or perhaps another narcissist? I’m curious if there’s a certain vibration that draws the narcissist to the other, and what type of supply they obtain from each type.

  39. I have known I was an empath for a long time, also an INFJ, HSP, etc. Your descriptions of the ego rage due to injustice that I feel is spot on (and is something I often have worried about in myself). The explanation of attraction to narcissists is something I have only very recently discovered about myself (and I am in my 30s). I really tend to be attracted to some of the best people and some of the worst people in the world- it’s very black and white and very odd.

    My most recent narcissistic abuse relationship definitely ended in a mind numbing awakening on my part that was one of the most difficult things in my life, but I am also grateful for it. This sentence really struck me:

    “In fact, attempts to “help” the Narcissist and draw attention to their dysfunctional behaviors often make the Narcissist worse because it contradicts the cravings of their ego.”

    This was the one thing I had not thought about. How much I have held on to people trying to see the good in them, wanting to be part of them getting better, to grow together… it’s simply impossible.

    Thanks for the article.

  40. Deb Cook

    I’ve known for years that I am an empath….what I didn’t realize, until just his weekend is that the man I have loved for the past 7 years is a narcissist. I knew he had issues…like OCD, but what I accidentally stumbled across while doing a college paper is that he is, in fact, a text book narcissist. What I am dealing with right now is not an “awakening” about myself, but realizing that I have to learn to trust those “inklings” that I get when it comes to men. I feel energy from people and when it comes to normal friendships I can easily detour from them….but when it comes to men, I tend to ignore those bad vibrations. Not sure yet why. I don’t really mind being “alone”, but obviously, as an empath, having somebody to give love and affection to is a desire….just not a priority. So yes, it’s a very confusing life to live.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Deb, often when we ignore red flags in romantic relationships, it’s because we’re subconsciously trying to process and resolve childhood wounds. I’ve found that our inner children are largely responsible for our staying in toxic relationships (and it becomes harder to leave given the psychological manipulations the narcissist engages in).

      1. Sally

        That is partly true however, no one ‘ignores’ the flags – we are targeted. Abusers adapt depending on the targets strengths and weaknesses. And mind control techniques are present from the first meeting. How can someone ignore a red flag if they don’t know what a red flag is?

        Someone tthat is educated on the signs but still thinksthey can somehow save the abuser, now tthat’s ignoring the signs.

  41. You are being asked to login because is used by an account you are not logged into now.
    By logging in you’ll post the following comment to Narcissists and Empaths: The Ego Dynamic:

    This was also what happened to me. I recently got out of an emotionally/mentally abusive relationship with an NPD partner. For most of the relationship he played the victim (and from what I’ve heard, continues to play the victim) of both his upbringing and his former partnerships, and then expected special treatment in regards to his inability to communicate in an emotionally healthy way, excusing himself because of his bipolar disorder. I wasn’t allowed to talk about my feelings, and the few chances I got were always met with disdain, or reeling me back in through him getting emotionally defensive both through tantrums, or neglect. I started researching empaths, probably 9 months before I finally broke it off. I could actually feel him before he would come home. I would be sitting on the couch happy because I had had a great day, and about 5 minutes before he’d drive in the driveway, I’d get a very heavy, sick to my stomach, with shoulder pains, feeling. I’d become tense. Then…he’d pull into the drive way. There was no way for me to logically know he was headed home. This happened almost every day for a year and a half! He’d also come home at different times, so I knew it wasn’t just a timing thing. I’d even get dizzy around him and faint on the ground. My menstrual cycles were so incredibly off around him that I went to the doctor several times, concerned there was something very wrong with me. I even gained weight for no reason. The doctors couldn’t find anything and said that I needed to remove whatever was stressing me out in my life. I tried telling him about this several times and of course, he never believed me….and even if he did, probably could care less. After I left him, and that house, EVERYTHING about my body has gone back to normal. I’ve gone down almost 3 jean sizes in 2 months, and haven’t actually DONE anything to lose it…it just fell off. My neck pains are gone, my cycles are back to normal…no longer last 12 days, but 5, I no longer get dizzy spells. it’s just been amazing. It seriously was like being attacked constantly by an energetic vampire, someone very toxic trying to play the part of someone sane. The gaslighting that took place in that relationship was astounding. He’d get mad at me for not hanging up his towel in the right spot and be mad at me for 6 months, and then say I was disrespecting him because of it. Or, he would try to convince me that I was the one with the mental disorder, even though by this point I had gotten myself checked out with several professionals just to verify that I was not in fact crazy. Not sure he was even aware of it…but yeah…I do NOT feel the same as I did around him. Do everything you can to get away from these people. They are not healthy for anyone, but especially those who are highly sensitive to feeling others emotions. They do not want to change. They have no identity, and use everyone else as their sounding board to their identity. They cannot change because they can’t face there is something wrong with them. They won’t take responsibility for their actions. They will lie about anything and everything to get their way and have no understanding of someone else’s pain or the damage they inflict to others. Leave them!

  42. This was also what happened to me. I recently got out of an emotionally/mentally abusive relationship with an NPD partner. For most of the relationship he played the victim (and from what I’ve heard, continues to play the victim) of both his upbringing and his former partnerships, and then expected special treatment in regards to his inability to communicate in an emotionally healthy way, excusing himself because of his bipolar disorder. I wasn’t allowed to talk about my feelings, and the few chances I got were always met with disdain, or reeling me back in through him getting emotionally defensive both through tantrums, or neglect. I started researching empaths, probably 9 months before I finally broke it off. I could actually feel him before he would come home. I would be sitting on the couch happy because I had had a great day, and about 5 minutes before he’d drive in the driveway, I’d get a very heavy, sick to my stomach, with shoulder pains, feeling. I’d become tense. Then…he’d pull into the drive way. There was no way for me to logically know he was headed home. This happened almost every day for a year and a half! He’d also come home at different times, so I knew it wasn’t just a timing thing. I’d even get dizzy around him and faint on the ground. My menstrual cycles were so incredibly off around him that I went to the doctor several times, concerned there was something very wrong with me. I even gained weight for no reason. The doctors couldn’t find anything and said that I needed to remove whatever was stressing me out in my life. I tried telling him about this several times and of course, he never believed me….and even if he did, probably could care less. After I left him, and that house, EVERYTHING about my body has gone back to normal. I’ve gone down almost 3 jean sizes in 2 months, and haven’t actually DONE anything to lose it…it just fell off. My neck pains are gone, my cycles are back to normal…no longer last 12 days, but 5, I no longer get dizzy spells. it’s just been amazing. It seriously was like being attacked constantly by an energetic vampire, someone very toxic trying to play the part of someone sane. The gaslighting that took place in that relationship was astounding. He’d get mad at me for not hanging up his towel in the right spot and be mad at me for 6 months, and then say I was disrespecting him because of it. Or, he would try to convince me that I was the one with the mental disorder, even though by this point I had gotten myself checked out with several professionals just to verify that I was not in fact crazy. Not sure he was even aware of it…but yeah…I do NOT feel the same as I did around him. Do everything you can to get away from these people. They are not healthy for anyone, but especially those who are highly sensitive to feeling others emotions. They do not want to change. They have no identity, and use everyone else as their sounding board to their identity. They cannot change because they can’t face there is something wrong with them. They won’t take responsibility for their actions. Leave them!

  43. I am so greatful to have read this article. I had a brief relationship with an N and nearly a year later I have learned about being an empath. I am in a work situation now where the person I job share with is an N and it is creating havoc in my life. Friends are just drained from seeing this type of situation “happen” to me over and over again. My life has a lot of meaning but not a lot of people in it. I am totally overwhelmed in large crowds and I now know why. I always knew I had some sort of crazy intuition but lately it has been so strong it is scaring me because I do not have a good outlet for it. If anyone knows what to do or how to live once you have had your soul lesson please let me know…thanks again!!

  44. JD

    This is Spot on! It got bad in the relationship real abusive and painful it was so bad that one day I woke up – in the spiritual sense- It took WAY to long 7 years though for me to see what he was, because he talked a good talk and I wanted to believe him, I wanted to see the good so bad. In the end though as this article implies, I wonder if I would have ever woken up with out going through all of it, I wonder if I would still be asleep and lost?

    1. Anonymous

      It took me 8 yrs.. then one day my eyes snapped open and I could see all the abuse so clearly.

  45. Hi, Kim, sharing a blog that fits in well here, in my opinion. I often got the pushback from my N ex that I never admitted I did anything wrong, or that wanting him to acknowledge his very hurtful behaviors was a “one-way street.” Perhaps like some others, I was thrown off by scriptures that tell us to forgive, look the other way, confess our own trespasses, etc. In the blog “Grace for My Heart” a wise and gentle pastor finally understands what we have been going through. He calls his Friday blogs “Narcissist Fridays” and I really look forward to those. Today, he says “Everyone’s Guilty?” and lays it out nicely for us. Hope this helps some others as much as it is helping me. I felt sure that you would appreciate it, as well.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thanks Mary Lee. I actually subscribe to his newsletter and have referred to his site a few times myself 🙂

    2. Dave M.

      Thanks Marylee and Kim, Kim’s site keeps coming up tops in Google searches on my quest, so I’m signing up here! Through this thread I found Grace For My Heart which addresses my confusion about narcissism in the church, especially several posts they have on “legalism,” which I already suspected was a vehicle for Ns. Another way the Ns can sabotage is saying “you see it everywhere!” but it really seems to be important to identify the ways that Ns piggyback their behaviors on existing structures, sometimes it does seem pervasive. Thanks again to both of you!

  46. Crystal Mealor

    This is crazy! Before I read this, I thought couldn’t put my finger on why I kept having all this shit happen to me… And now I know. I’m currently in a court house, testifying against my mother’s socio/psychopathic ex-husband who wants custody of my youngest brother. I’ll be called up to the stand soon.. Hmm, Sociopath Vs Empath… This is going to be interesting.

  47. Kim, I have a question. Do you think it possible that an empath child could endure circumstance during very early developmental years that would turn him into a functioning narcissist? I’d really like to know what you think about this.


    1. Kim Saeed

      Mary Lee,

      I do think that Narcissists endured a certain amount of childhood trauma, but so did Empaths/Co-dependents. I believe Narcissism is part nature, part nurture. There is also scientific evidence that points to their having some dysfunction in various parts of the brain that sets them up for lack of empathy. Because of this, there is virtually nothing that can be done to “rehabilitate” them. They are so far deep into their pathology that there’s really nothing that can help them due to their sheer lack of wanting to change.

      That’s just my humble observation.


      1. Yeah, Kim, I totally agree with the nature/nurture conclusion. I guess the evidence that points to the brain differences is the most troubling. If that is true, it starts to move even from not wanting to, to not being able to. They just don’t see what normal people see that motivates us to change. My soon-to-be ex is not your typical N and since I have left he seems to be finally seeing some things, but it is baby steps toward a very long journey he would need to make. I just don’t see it happening. He had gone for a couple of long periods of time–years even–when he seemed to be on a better path, but he would inevitably return to his old ways. He just could not maintain it, so I have no reason whatsoever to ever trust him again. He plays the “poor hurt child” role so well and I just have to pull my emotional blinds closed and not get caught up in it again.

    2. Anonymous

      I’m a little confused because I see a little of all those things in myself. It depends on who I’m around. Maybe growing up in an abusive situation screwed me up more than I think, but at the same time, I’ve had a lot of therapy & haven’t been told I’m a narcissist or anything. Always soul searching. Tired.

      1. Kim Saeed

        I know that feeling. Try to get enough rest, spend time in nature, and read books by people such as Wayne Dyer, Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, etc. The true path to healing lies in extreme self-care and looking within. Therapy is great, but look into transformational healing methods, too. You just might find the missing piece <3

  48. Natasha

    I came across this website after ending a relationship with someone who appears to be a narcissist and I an empath; I didn’t know either at the time. I have been desperately trying to make sense of why me, was I so worthless, that is why he chose me. This forum has given me a chance to re-fuel myself and see, he chose me because I am able to love and love abundantly, something that’s always been missing from his life. This forum has shown me and revealed to me that I am an empath. Friends always say I’m too kind. I am now learning, thanks to this chance discovery that what I have is a gift and therefore I have to take care of it. Also, it has shown me that I don’t have to feel hurt by the actions of my ex boyfriend, as my love and compassion will heal me in time. This website has helped me in that healing- I was having a really bad day dealing with the hurt attached to this toxic relationship. Thank you. X

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Natasha.

      I am so glad to know that my site has helped you in some way. Whatever you do, don’t internalize the experience…try to grow from it, as you probably already are. I would recommend exploring the healing tools that I have posted here, as transformation healing is really the best approach to recovering from this type of abuse. It really makes a huge, if not THE, difference between healing and just surviving.

  49. Nikole

    May I ask a question? Are empaths all naturally submissive? I don’t think I would ever be described as that. I come off as ‘in control’ and people that meet me automatically assume that I am a dominant personality. However.. I feel so very connected to these posts. I am in most ways all the things described here. I would even say I”m submissive … in the bedroom (hate to go that far). But my family.. full of abusers…say I’m controlling when I try to run my own life or stand up for myself so I don’t know anymore. I don’t know is I’m controlling and dominant or what. All I know is I’m yet again searching for how and why I feel different from everyone in this world. I sat all day crying over the death of a 4 yr old girl w/ downs syndrome. I only knew her thru facebook as she is the daughter of a hs friend of mine. I never knew her in person. I just spent 4 years watching her grow happy, healthy and beautiful. It makes no sense that I would feel her mother’s pain so strong… but I feel like I have lost my own child when it hits. It isn’t w/ me every second. Also…I have an ex…that I really broke up w/ last Valentines day…but because he is a widower (I’m an army widow)… and I know the pain he has gone through… I don’t want to leave him behind. I KNOW he isn’t my type… I know we could never make it. I’m even sort of scared of him at times. Yet not. I don’t know if it makes sense. It is like inside I know he isn’t dangerous but on the surface I feel like I”m being stupid. However… my kids and my pets adore him…and I’m a believe in pets sensing evil. Anyway…. I offered to put a house on my property for him to live but explained we would only be friends. My friends all think I”m crazy. I just don’t want him to suffer. But I’m strong enough to have severed ‘relationshipy’ ties. So… anyone have any thoughts on what I have said so far? I have been in relationships in my youth like the above people have… my ex husband was horribly screwed up …not just a narc. I was also molested by my grandfather and I think that leads to a lot of my issues. I just don’t know something…is an empath created or born that way? So many of my qualities… everyone comes to me to help them in relationships… have always been me. And yet… it seems similar threads run through the people who have posted previously which makes me think it is something created. I was very lucky to be married to an AMAZING man. He said my worst quality was how much I care about people. He said people abuse me (I don’t think they do… I think I just care a lot) because I spend so much time trying to help them. It does mentally drain me… and yet if it helps them I will literally stay up days on end to save them from something ie an abuser. He said people like that gravitate to me. They do…I’ll admit that… but I think it is just everyone I know has issues… and I’m one of the few people that don’t judge them for them. I wish I could stop feeling others pain and be clinical about it…. which was my late husbands point but I can’t. I feel invested. I feel happy if I help them… like I have accomplished something for the good of the less fortunate. God has blessed me and I want to pay it forward. I will talk myself into thinking I’m an empath and then talk myself out of it. How do I know??? Maybe I’m just a girl who picked bad relationships and had bad luck in life at times. Maybe I’m just a nice person that cares that no one goes thru what I did. Maybe knowing would make my life easier? I know I’m intuitive… I know someone’s pain before they tell me IF it is something I have experienced. Is that something that could be? I can point out people on the street who have been molested and people that are evil vile child molesters. Empath? something else? anyone?

  50. Michelle

    Great article! This article triggers a sense of sadness in me, because it is so true, and there are so many people out there who have or are suffering. I, fortunately, have moved on from my N ex and I’m finally healed. I am so fortunate to have found a man who would move mountains for me and I’ve never felt so amazing. I hope that if you’re reading this, and are in a relationship with the type of person this article talks about, you save yourself.

  51. Kelli

    Thank you for sharing. I was married to a narcissist for more than 13 years and we had 4 beautiful children together. I was blessed to finally find support and left him 4 years ago after he was arrested for violence against a female (me). Needless to say, I obtained a Domestic Violence Protective Order after he was arrested and he was arrested 4 more times within 2 months for violating it.
    Anyways, it’s been more than 4 years and I’m remarried….However, my ex has consistently filed court cases against me. My latest subpoena is for him to get custody of our 4 kids.. It breaks my heart bc he talks a good game but I have NO DOUBT that he doesn’t care about ANYONE OR THING but himself!! Unfortunately, he’s a master manipulator and he’s convinced my kids that they’re gonna be SO HAPPY!!
    Mostly I’m surprised that he’s found another woman to believe him! She’s in her late 40’s with NO KIDS and truly thinks she would be a better mother than me?!? I’m completely disgusted because she allows my ex to live in her condo (2 bedroom and I have 4 kids over 10) and I know she believes that my kids would be better off with them 🙁

  52. Anonymous

    I have only now discovered that I have the traits that are described for an Empath in this article, though I knew long before now that there was something about me, I just didn’t know what it was called. I also recently discovered what a NPD was in trying to figure out what could be the deal with my wife of 11 years. I’ve been googling questions, personality traits, behavioral descriptions (both hers and mine), and it’s brought me here. This is a new journey and certainly unchartered territory for me, but things had gotten sooo bad up until 3 months ago when I left the house and her ego. It’s been a struggle and I’m not sure which way to proceed from here, but I absolutely know I can’t go back. I am grateful to have discovered your insights Ms. Saeed, only wish I’d have stumbled over this years ago……so many hurts, so many pains, so many words, so much chaos,…..I’m just tired and I’d just like some peace and fulfilment.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Anon, thank you for reading my blog and for your encouraging comments. It’s truly an honor.

      Like you, I didn’t know anything about Narcissism when I left my Ex, so my healing was a long journey. Though learning about Narcissism was insightful, I gained more wisdom through learning about myself and why I stayed in the relationship so long though it was toxic. Through working with clients, and just research in general, I’ve learned we all share certain personality traits, and being Empathic is one of them. You can find out more about your personality by taking the quizzes I have on this page:

      I’d love to know your results if you’d be up for sharing. If you are, you can contact me at my email, 🙂

      Regarding peace and fulfillment, it took me a little while to get to where I am today, but again, that’s because I didn’t know where to start. Meditations have been a large part of my recovery, as well as practicing self-love and Inner Child Healing. If you are experiencing any conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, or any that can be considered clinical, you may want to check into getting therapy. Most therapists don’t have much knowledge regarding Narcissistic abuse, but you might get lucky. However, they should still be able to help you manage your thought processes as they relate to low self-esteem, depression, etc.

      Best of luck in your recovery!

  53. Anonymous

    wow enlightening knowing this truth helps me be more free. I am married to a narcissist. He is also an alcoholic. We have 5 children. It has taken me years to realize the truth. I left the home a year and a half ago. I do not miss him. The doctors told me (after being hospitalized for suicidal depression, eating disorder, extreme anxiety and PTSD) the relationship was toxic and may prove fatal. I have given up every possession but I would rather live in poverty than spend one more minute with that psycho. My children are all grown and no longer live at the ‘marital residence’. Hallelujah !!! My maiden name is Wallace and I often think of Mel Gibson’s “FREEDOM” ~ BRAVEHEART 🙂 Thank you for this blog.


    It’s shocking, the amount of people who went through this too. In my relationship he claimed to love me but toss me aside when he get attention elsewhere then interested in me when things go wrong. I have been pushed and pulled for almost 8yrs. We have a brilliant daughter who seem to be an empath too… He drained me physically, mentally and emotionally when I finally found the strength to break free I felt like I was born again…. Full of energy and finally living while I watch him drain his own energy.. Now and then my daughter and I send him some energy
    … Recently he came back very convincing… my heart fell but my mind stayed strong enough to see he wanted to secure me with marriage and I think it’s because he senses my gift and want to keep me like a genie…. GOD IS MY STRENGTH PROVIDER and I have broken free of this man…. Amen.

  55. Wow! This is exactly what happened to me.. after I was abused and trying to go thru the process in healing myself.. I wanted to know what was it that made me a victim.. why did the narc target me.. In my searches on the internet came HSP first and then Empath.. when I started reading about them, I was like, wow this is me to the T. I still needed confirmation tho and got it from a friend who is one as well. It is something I will never forget!

  56. Mart

    INFP! I knew I was empathic and highly sensitive, but I had never consider that it is why we were so attracted to each other (in a toxic way). The darkness and the light. I think we as empaths might be attracted to them not only by codependency patterns, but also cause we are attracted by the ability of this people to be (patologically) in touch with their needs, ego. They are like “grounding” to us, the same way we are supreme supply for them, and also, the promise of an authenticity they will never have.

  57. Jane Smith

    This article hit home. I consider myself empathic (an INFJ, too) and was born to a narcissistic mother.

  58. Susie

    I too was shaking my head. I am in the middle of this right now! :/

  59. Rochelle Rose

    I have recently ended a six year relationship, if you could even call it that. I recently confronted him about his narcisstic behaviors and he chuckled as if he knew he had been discovered. He almost had me feeling sorry for him until he said that ” I am probably not your ideal man or anyones ideal man. I am who I am and that will never change.” Thankfully I cannot forget the terrible way he treats me when he is at his extreme. Yet, I still struggle everyday to not try and make amends with such a callous person.

  60. J

    Yes, I can relate to everything. I actually had a close family member use the court system and lawyers to fuel her game and harm against me. I am out thousands of dollars, lost everything all because she targeted me because her desire to use and abuse individuals. I finally found out who I am and what this is and now trying to rebuild my life. Thank you for the article, my heart goes out for others in this situation and feel great pain within all of the comments.
    God bless
    J-another empath that got destroyed

  61. Anonymous

    I think what bothers me the most is that he can so easily procure new victims, or fake himself out in a way I can’t, to love somebody new so readily and easily. The guy I know and dated does have a capacity to feel bbad for someone. If I can relate it to a similar experience of his. Any thoughts other than just like people, all NPs are not the same..

  62. s. lynn


    I’ve been struggling with the concept that people can be so heartless. How do they not feel. As an empath I cannot understand how some can feel so little when i feel so much.

    I have just broken up with my partner of three years. I am still coming to terms with the fact thati was emotionally abused, his personal emotional punching bag. From the beginning he was so wonderful. He was everything i ever wanted in a partner. Romanced me like no one had ever done before. Yet my intuition told me something wasn’t right. The words were not matching the actions. When i began to question him, it was explosive and i was the crazy one who would apologize in the end. He had no remorse for his actions towards people before i entered his life. At first i believed him to be the victim, but i still fell in love. In the end, i spent three years crying, sometimes while he would sit and watch me. Like he was analyzing me. My head was spinning with constant contradictions. I must be crazy, he was such a good person, everyone loved him and I was just not being fair to him. I lost myself. Spent a huge part of my settlement from a car accident (which he always reminded me thati didn’t need him any more because i got the money).

    I spent years questioning myself and my sanity. I became over weight, addicted to him and his lifestyle. I forgot who i was. And when my money was going, and i was deleted emotionally and fat and ugly he went back to the u.s. i was so conflicted, as our last year together i started fighting back and trying to develop my own life. Which he told everyone he encouraged, but i knew different. When i tried to be me i was met with anger and disapproval. So i became worse. Fatter. Unattractive and lifeless, because i knew he would leave. But my heart still wanted him. He has been gone 2 months and already with some other poor girl living a lie to his estranged family who now think he is amazing. He’s such a good actor and they ask think badly of me.

    I’m working through this pain. Trying to accept that i was in an emotionally abusive relationship and that he never really loved me. I was just a means to an end. The more i read about this relationship dynamic, the more i see myself. I have a lot of healing to do and work to do soi can pick the pieces up of my life and get myself back. I will not be repeating this again. With the help of others who understand I will learn to live myself and learn how to attract the right person in my life who will love and cherish me. Who want to see me smile not cry.

    Thanks for sharing everyone. ♡

  63. Sonya Jones

    Hi all, well I am still with my Sociopath/Narcissistic Partner of 7 years.. Are ALL Empath/Narc relationships set to fail? Do any make it thru and learn to live alongside each other’s differences?? Just wanted to throw this out there and see what the response is.. Thanks everyone xxx

    1. Kim Saeed


      Being an Empath is a blessing once you learn how to protect and ground yourself…

      To answer your question, all relationships with a Narcissist, whether we are an Empath or not, are destined for failure due to the nature of Narcissistic abuse. The only way to “make it work” would require that you completely let go of everything you are…your identity and feelings, in order to become the Narcissist’s unconditional source of supply. You will never get any reciprocation. Is that something you’re willing to endure?

  64. K

    Most definately!! After being told an almost fully convinced i was the cause of all the drama (made up in my head) and the one in denial of my issues despite my endless efforts of self sacrifice for our relationship – it was sadly a lose lose situation. She in a nutshell? Is never satisfied. From one extreme to another and yip the empath cops it all. But hey 🙂 that was two years ago now. We tried again by chance 4 months ago in another country and baaym! I learnt… with more strength and awareness i grew again! All i can say is thankyou narc 🙂 Take care be strong xo

  65. Eunice

    I actually discovered I was an empath by researching sensitivity because every since I was a child I seemed to feel or read people. And as a young person it could be fun and interesting. As I’ve grown I totally agree with the quote of being a blessing and a curse. This website definitely gave me insight on why I’ve been attracting Narcissist aka psychos. Now I’m on a path to recovering from the abuse and just knowing I’m not crazy almost feels like enough. Thank you for this site.

  66. Yes. This happened for me as well. I am 8 months now of no contact. Life is better but it will be a while before I trust myself to attract a man again. My radar is better in that I can actually sniff out a narcissist within about 30 minutes of meeting one and walk away. This goes for male and female narcissists. I really stood up for myself with the narcissist that almost broke me. I also stood up to his supply. It was rough. I thought I needed to be locked away in a mental institution. I still get triggered but that has lessened. Time seems to be the main healer here….time and distance. I do hope more people are made aware of this kind of abuse and more behavioral health providers are trained in how to help survivors. I was in no way helped by a few counselors/healers. Every road led me to here which I am grateful for but if I can spare someone else from being told to just “get over it”, I would love it.

  67. Austin Palmer-Smith

    Thank you for writing this. I am a male infj and got out of a terrible abusive relationship with a deeply troubled enfj. Her mother beat her moved around the country countless times and her father commited suicide when she was 1 or 2. She is a natural enfj charming, fun, good sence of humor, and very pretty. Long story short we had problems just after the “honeymoon phase”. For example she was still holding onto her previous relationship. And I put my feelings out there saying that it makes me uncomfortable that you contact your ex so much. But my feelings were ignored. So the resentment starts and I being an infj can’t bring myself to leave because I don’t want to be another person who abandons her. Then the violence starts, I’ve be head butted by her, punched in the face, almost run over, hit with a hammer in the back. That’s just the physical I’ve been called evey name in the book. Called me a piece of shit father while she’s holding our son. There is much worse things but these are the ones that come to mind the most. And I still hung in there wich just made things worse. Because I shit down emotionally. I had a very hard time being there for her emotionally wich the enfj needs badly. And when I did try to be supportive it was taken as if the only reason I was doing it was because she asked or that it wasn’t genuine. I couldn’t win, I couldn’t do anything for her write or wrong. And when I finally had enough ad left her I felt so relived and felt like I had turkey moved on. But a month later I moved closer to her to be closer to my son and I guess I hadn’t really moved on. She seemed like she had turned around and started to make changes. So I was playing the boyfriend on the weekends. But I was still very conflicted because she has done that before so I didn’t want to commit and here we are. 8 months later she’s just started a new relationship (I’m assuming to help get over me. But I could be very wrong and she’s honestly changed and found someone where there is no hurt and past resentment ) and I’m so confused why I’m in so much pain over it. I can’t think about anything but her and really am having a hard time remembering how awful she was to me.. I think it’s all the word and violence I stuffed down trying to stay strong for her and myself. The cork has popped and all those negative things are just now really starting to affect me. I know what I need to do. I know I need to find myself again and start doing things i love again (she was very controlling too) so I’m trying new things. Trying to stay real with myself and pay more attention to my gut and fallow my intuition about my feeling for her. Any way thanks for your insight it helped me today. But Tommorrow is another journey through my emotions. ? thank you again

  68. Austin Palmer-Smith

    Haha so many type o’s lol sorry I doing this on a phone and the fat finger syndrome is legit

  69. Yep, that’s about where it all started, too. This is why I feel such a deep need to go back and right the wrongs I learned, because of her. It is because of all of this poison that was injected into my mind and spirit from a young age, that I had never been able to establish, and moreover ENFORCE, proper boundaries. Very recently, a few incidents have caused me to remove two individuals from my life indefinitely, and I will NOT go back on my decision. One of them hurt me BADLY, I couldn’t believe it; still can’t. If I retract my decision, then any boundaries I attempt to enforce in future incidents, will be overlooked, or totally ignored. It’s a tough process, but one that is liberating.
    As an Empath, it’s so difficult to impliment, and then enforce, such tough choices. But it’s even tougher to be used as a doormat, time and time again. I’d rather have my self-respect, than ‘friends’ that are not TRUE friends. Proper boundaries will certainly determine who belongs, and who doesn’t; and subsequently, if proper boundaries ARE in place, who stays, and who goes!

  70. One more thing: as I was writing today, Pat Benatar’s ‘Hell Is For Children’ came to mind; and I began to go over the lyrics in my head…..

    “Love and pain become one and the same, in the eyes of a wounded child.”

    She pretty much nailed THAT one….

    1. Kim Saeed

      Indeed, especially considering that most of us become entangled with narcissists and other emotional predators because of childhood wounds…

  71. Okay, this is going to be a long one, but I NEEDED to express it to the right audience; this is crucial. Here goes:

    Mary Lee Morgan, you may have just saved me. I am in the throes of the deepest soul crisis, I have ever endured, in my 46 years. After reading this post last night, THE MOST PROFOUND EPIPHANY OF MY LIFE, hit me like a wrecking ball!! It all makes sense. My NPD nightmare lasted for 20 months. I met him on a dating site (which he’s still on, new user name, exact same profile info. cut/pasted from the deleted one, hidden from public search. ) He targeted me, because I was a giver; I gave EVERYTHING to this relationship, and in turn, he drained me. I am a single mother of a disabled child (Down’s) and an ENJF/hyper-sensitive empath. (I always knew something was different about me, but never discovered what it was until 3 years ago) I suffered horrible abuse at the hands of my mother, and had gone through many trials, as a result. Relationships with the wrong men, addiction, recovery, lack of direction; for decades, this continued. In 2000, I met my ex-husband in a Yahoo chatroom, ‘fell in love’ with him, and moved my life from L.A. to England, to be with him. As a result of, what I thought would be a life-changing event for me, I remained in the confines of a very unhappy marriage, for 9 years. I stayed, because he threatened to take her and have me arrested for kidnapping, if I ever left with her. (he never paid any attention to her anyway; but because he was technically her carer ON PAPER, he was paid quite well, to be her main caregiver, rather than work. He knew I couldn’t force him to lift a finger to help with anything; and believe me, he didn’t. This suited him fine; he sat at his computer 16 hours a day on average, FOR YEARS…honing his craft to become the pirate DVD master!! I was the one that did everything, and fortunately, controlled the finances. She was HARD WORK for those first few years, and I was stuck there, with no foreseeable opportunity to make an exit in sight. Then one day, life took a DRASTIC turn. In 2009, I made an abrupt exit from the marriage and our home, due to having him arrested because I discovered his computer loaded up with child pornography. (explains all of the endless hours he sat glued to the computer screen) I packed two suitcases, took my daughter, and made an abrupt exit within about 48 hours of his arrest, before he was granted bail. That was the onset of a series of very unfortunate events that eroded my sanity to the Nth degree, over the next 4 years. (waaay too much to go into, here) November 9th 2012, I met my NPD, or DB as we’ll call him. (short for DirtBag) Having sized me up within minutes I’m sure, he zeroed right in on me, got missile lock, and probably thought to himself, ‘oh, this one’s clearly got major issues….my job’s already half done…’ We both gave up our respective flats, and rented a lovely house after having been together only four months. (still in the love bombing stage, I thought then, that he was my white knight) Suddenly, things started changing, little by little…the petty arguments gradually turned into huge battles; NOTHING about him was even similar to the man I’d fallen for. He began the idealization/devaluation game, about two months in….and it got worse, and worse, and worse….I was a mess! He used all of the most hurtful things I had ever entrusted him, by turning them into daggers, and throwing them at me, during devaluation; and then the silent treatment, sometimes for WEEKS, while I essentially supported him (he had two jobs, and I rarely ever saw a penny of it, unless it was the mere £375 a month that he paid toward £1300 a month rent, bills AND anything/everything else, that comes with running a home….my daughter’s disability living allowance, and my carer’s allowance, paid for everything else) as he eroded away my sanity. He stonewalled me on MANY occasions, as I begged him in tears, to PLEASE stop draining me; I was empty. He would always turn it around on me, and tell me I was the energy vampire that sucked the life out of him. He would yell at me and tell me how low and worthless I was, at least three times a week. On Valentine’s Day, he showed up empty-handed, an hour late. (on Valentine’s Day the year before, I found flowers and a card full of ‘I love you so much’ dribble, on our bed that he’d left for me to find, after he’d left for work) I’d had enough. I told him he had 30 minutes to pack a bag and leave, or I’d take further action. A week later, he came back for the rest of his belongings…as he looked back at me, standing in the doorway, before he got into his car to leave, I fell apart. That was the invitation for ‘re-entry’. I took on a room mate, so I could make the rent, and stayed in our house. We still saw each other about once a week for awhile, and gradually, over 3-4 months, it became four days a week. He told me that on Tuesdays/Wednesdays (the days he didn’t stay with me) that he needed to stay at his place; he needed his space and time to clear his head, as he saw us going nowhere; he was drifting. (ahh…countdown to discard….)
    Clues revealed themselves in the following weeks, and I knew he was already seeing someone else. He needed my car for a job he had coming up; and twelve days after said job, he didn’t need anything from me anymore; I was dismissed. He said he wanted to be my best friend, he couldn’t see his life without me….blah, blah, blah. Three weeks later, he came to pick up his mail, and the rest of the laundry I had done for him, that he’d left behind when he made his exit. We had our final intimate encounter that day, and I could tell, his mind was elsewhere….he couldn’t perform. (this was NEVER a problem before..) That was the last time I saw him, I told him about a week later, to get the rest of his things within 72 hours; game over. I got the ‘I don’t know why you’ve done this, but I knew it would turn out this way’ text – I never answered) I did EVERYTHING for this man, I gave until I had nothing left. The harder I tried, the more he distanced himself, and became more angry and aggressive, than ever. I didn’t understand, and I was just a shell, of my former self. And then, I picked up my laptop, and started searching….I found answers I NEVER EXPECTED; eventually, they led me here.

    When I read Mary’s post last night, about going back and rescuing my inner child because I was the only one that saw her go through ALL of it, man….. I’ve NEVER had a moment like that, in my life!!! It all became clear at once:…the reason I allowed him to do this to me, is because it’s exactly what my mother did! I was just doing what I had been conditioned to do, my whole life. And then EVERYTHING started to come back to me….the failed relationships, the drug addiction, (clean 15 years in January) the people pleasing, walking on eggshells around dominant forces, and then the grand finale: two miserable, wasted years with my NPD…and I FINALLY got it: I had established no clear boundaries, because I was conditioned to do anything to please, appease, and if that didn’t work, I would systematically cower to anyone that attempted to overpower me. He is the one that has exploited, manipulated, controlled, and abused me, worse than any other person in my life, EXCEPT her; and he did this, with full intent to idealize, devalue, abuse and discard me, in that order; knowing from the beginning, I’d JUST recovered from a similar situation, that caused the demise of my marriage. As the saying goes, ‘…fish in a barrel’.
    I’d made a conscious decision to go back in time to confront my inner child issues awhile back; but after reading Mary’s post, I know the time to do it, is now. If I can waste two years fighting with everything I had to please the NPD, then I can CERTAINLY undertake this cleansing. The difference between the NPD and me, is that we’re polar opposites. I’ve seen GLIMPSES of the Dr. Jekyll within the past two years, (what seemed like very genuine moments, where he’s stated that he knows something’s not right about him….it was as if I’d broken through the stone exterior, and touched a fragment of his heart). On one occasion, after two solid days of him stonewalling me while we were in Paris, (I had taken him for his birthday) and treating me so badly, that the erosion process had exhausted me; I was nearly at breaking point. We’d gone into a cafe’ outside of Disneyland Paris, for lunch. Suddenly, out of the blue, something in him, just…shifted. Out of nowhere, he relented; and he had really no foreseeable reason to need to relent. THAT’S what bewilders me! He pulled me in, and he started to cry…and something about his eyes, was different. He told me, ‘never mind the bad person you’ve seen, it’s not me; THIS is the real me… I’m not that person, I hate that person….’) The following two days, were the best days we’d ever spent together, sans the love bombing stage. On two other occasions in the beginning, we were talking; and I got into him so deeply, that he again fought back the tears, and he told me, ‘you make me think about things I don’t want to think about’. And the one that REALLY throws me, is having seen him break down HARD, (I mean SOBBING) because he just wanted his children to be happy, and he’s carrying debilitating guilt around for SOMETHING he has never disclosed to me; but he has said many times, that when his son turns 18, he’s going to take him out, just the two of them, and ‘tell him everything’. (?????) I know the look in his eyes when he’s disingenuous, that look was nowhere to be seen. It’s my belief that therapy/proper medication, would CERTAINLY make a difference here; but he won’t even HEAR of it. At the mention of therapy and/or medication, he becomes irate, and insists that it’s never mentioned again, he’s NOT doing it, end of discussion. He’s been burying things so deeply for so many years, that he gives his narcissism the reins, so he doesn’t have to confront what really haunts him; and he hides his pan and guilt very carefully, behind the mask of ‘normality’. He will always be exactly where he is now; nowhere. Trawling the dating sites, looking for easy prey…conning whomever he can, attaching like a parasitic leech, to whatever target can offer him the ‘best deal’. Meanwhile, his children (the 2 boys with his former wife, 17 & 14) have absolutely NO IDEA that their father leads a double life. He also has a 4-year-old son, with his ex before me. She flat refuses to allow him access; I don’t blame her ONE BIT. Appalling…how can he live with himself??? As for me on the other hand, I need to get to the bottom of it…whatever it is; but his is a riddle I just can’t solve. I think that’s what’s keeping me confined to this prison cell; the questions that are burning, will never be answered: ‘did he ever feel anything, or were even the most questionable occurrences, just for show?’ Is he REALLY suffering deep down, or is was it just a pity play?’ ‘Surely, no one’s THAT good of an actor…’ I can speculate, or say to myself, ‘maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t’, and THAT’S where I get stuck, as I become like a lab rat in a maze; hitting dead end after dead end, and I can’t find the way out. I’m putting a stop to the ‘running in circles’ game; not my circus, not my clowns. When all is said and done, it’s NOT HIM that matters!! I’ve had no contact with him since the beginning of August, when I told him to disappear, and that’s how it’s going to stay!! I hacked his password on my spare laptop, to find out what he’d been up to, while my daughter and I were in Paris THIS year, (he didn’t go this time) he was staying here, looking after my animals. He was in MY house, using MY wifi, on MY laptop, in MY bedroom, directly deceiving me, in my own environment, knowing I wasn’t going to catch him at it. (well, not right then, anyway) Sure, he dumped his temporary internet files after he’d finished, so he presumed he was safe. There are other footprints that one leaves when one is hitting various sites, and they can be traced by someone that knows what to look for, if they’re not eliminated. The laptop was LOADED UP with viruses! His trail showed that he’d checked his secret email address four times, and from there, wandered directly over to the dating site. He messaged one woman that I could see, so I checked her profile. She is 12 years his senior, and lives in the same town. She’s looking for ‘friends’, and she’s been alone for the past seven years, citing failed relationships have made her a sceptic….what HE reads into that: easy prey. (remember, his profile is hidden, so he had to message HER, before she could respond…, from whom would he be concealing his deception? If you’re single, why hide your profile? Hiding perhaps, from his new target, presumably the one he discarded me for, so she doesn’t find out he’s trawling for supply, even though he’s convinced her she’s ‘the one’?) All the while, he was commenting daily on photos that I had posted of us at Disneyland on Facebook, ‘Hello, beautiful girls. Hope you’re having a good time! See you soon!’ Direct and intentional deception….how can they not be bothered by the mayhem they cause??? I realize and fully understand that they don’t feel empathy/compassion etc. for their victims or others affected by their narcissism, but… I mean, sure….I get it; but I don’t get it. Despicable. How can he live with himself??
    He makes me physically ill. The thought of what he put me through, makes me sick. Not just that he took advantage of me, but it was my daughter’s disability allowances that have paid the majority of the rent for this house, and he exploited HER! He deliberately targeted a 12-year-old disabled child, by proxy, for his own selfish agenda. I can’t believe that I gave so much, for so long, to someone so vile. He tried to keep me down, using the same intimidation/control tactics she used, when she was beating me into submission; and it worked…for awhile. In the last email that he sent to me the day after the discard, was absolutely brimming with idealization, in my favour; stating that I was ‘such a good person, better than he could ever hope to be; and it is to his detriment, that he could not make it work’, and ‘I’m not a monster, I just……’ I understand the mechanics and the psychology of narcissism, thanks to my deep-seated need to get to the bottom of everything; and this is something I HAD TO uncover, to understand what had happened to me; but my empathic side does not comprehend, at ALL. It’s such a foreign entity to me, I don’t think any Empath, would fully understand; like trying to explain quantum physics to Elmer Fudd!! HOWEVER, every cloud, has a silver lining. I’m now on a major quest to go back…as far as it takes, to rescue that vulnerable, frightened child that’s still cowering in the corner, and bring her into the light. She needs to know that NONE OF THIS, NOT ONE BIT OF IT, was, nor is, her fault. Despite being on the receiving end of the proverbial baseball bat for many years, I was a good kid, and I’ve grown into a powerful, resilient woman, because I’ve walked the torrid pathways of hell a thousand times in my 46 years; and yet, I’m alive to see another day. I was 22 when my mother died in 1990, of renal failure. The diagnosis was terminal, she wouldn’t live. At 17, I dropped out of high school, and waitressed the graveyard shift. Someone had to pay the rent and bills, while she was hospitalized 4-6 weeks at a time, and since it was only the two of us,….well, there weren’t a hatful of options THERE… I drove her 40 miles, round-trip, to the hospital in downtown L.A. to pick up her medications twice a week, I cooked, cleaned, tried to continue studying…but it was too much for someone my age, I was overwhelmed with all of the responsibility, and could barely keep up. Again, she was tormenting me regularly, this time verbally, (she was too weak to punish me physically, by this time) and as my PTSD kicked each time, I became submissive. She moved back to the desert when I was 19, and lived across the street from her aunt & uncle, (horrible people!) until her death at age 42, from stage 4, renal failure. I never went to the hospital to see her, in her final days. I don’t know why exactly, but I was SO TERRIFIED to see her in such a broken state, that I wouldn’t be able to walk into her hospital room for the final time, knowing I’d never see her again. (None of my family understand why, and some condemn me for this. I WISH there was some way to explain, that didn’t make me sound like I was copping out with lame-ass, drama queen-induced excuses; they wouldn’t understand at all.) I am convinced it was my hyper-sensitive empathy that held me back, as if bound by chains.
    He essentially did the same thing. He used the same emotionally paralysing tactics as she had, when she was beating me into a corner, and it worked…for awhile. The only difference is that he didn’t physically hit me. It was all mental/emotional/spiritual abuse; but my response to their respective abuse tactics, was to revert to submission. I fought back for awhile, but then the tactics became more covertly implicated, and I began to lose my will to fight back. The more I cried and begged him to stop, the angrier he became; followed by the silent treatment, for days..sometimes weeks; followed by idealization again. Wash, rinse, repeat. Lately, as I’ve recall the worst of it, it’s so strange…it’s almost as though I can see her face transposed over his when he becomes enraged, (his eyes deeply resemble hers, ocean blue) and his face seemed to morph into the portrait of evil, just like hers always had. Just as it manifested in hers, I can still see the rage in his face, vividly, when I recall specific incidents. Inevitably, when he had me completely controlled and became bored; his job here was done. Behind the scenes, he had a new target all set up, and he bailed out. It’s been 4 months, and day by day, it’s starting to fade. I don’t WANT this anymore, and I’ll be damned, if I’m going to let this haunt me, the way his past haunts him. I believe that somewhere down in there, he’s terrified to face SOMETHING. So terrified in fact, that the fight to keep it all suppressed, will undoubtedly fail him one day soon. He’s going to blow, and I’m afraid of how the outcome will affect his children.
    As for me, his actions have caused me to realize: it’s time. Dig up the key, unlock the doorway to hell, and go rescue yourself from the fire…she’s waited way too long. I’ve taken a few steps in, and if I’m honest, I’m not afraid. I’m very eager to get in there, slay the dragon, and bring her back into the light. If I concentrate on me, and JUST me, I can do this; and I can exorcise the demons that have haunted me, consciously and subconsciously, my entire life. I can’t wait to get to the other side of this, and come out of it a better person. This process will knock the wind out of me a few times, I expect that. But I’m armed and dangerous….bring on the dragon!!
    Again, thank you Mary. If I could kiss you right now, I would! You’ve triggered something REVOLUTIONARY within me, something that’s lit a fire under me, and got me onto my feet, ready for my conquest; and I’m eternally grateful to you, for the vision that you provided me, through your words, above.
    Thank you, Kim…for giving me a place to share this with other empaths, that I know WILL understand!! This is of the UTMOST importance to me; I’d say ‘you have NO IDEA; but I’m sure you, and everyone else here, gets it.

    ALL MY LOVE, LIGHT AND PEACE TO EVERYONE. :o) Live life to the fullest, you only get to do it once!!! <3

  72. This is exactly me. I had no idea I was an empath until about eight months ago when my best friend used it to describe me for the first time. 9/11 affected me very deeply, when the first tower fell I wept. When the second tower fell it felt like my soul was being ripped apart. Even now, years later, I still deeply feel emotions from that single event.

    I am coming to understand so much thanks to this site and the many articles. I truly wish I had money to donate, even if it were just a little bit. With a good friend’s guidance and love I kicked my narc husband out of our apartment and am trying to recover from the damage of four years in the relationship. It has been the most difficult mental struggle I have ever experienced and that’s after having suffered sexual molestation (age 10-14), physical abuse, abandonment and neglect from both parents, a broken foster care system, being homeless over a dozen times in ten years, being raped by three different men and being held hostage at knifepoint for three weeks.

    Most of my life has been a living self-destructive hell until I had my daughter in 2007. I went through three years of cognitive behavioral therapy (3 hrs a week) but somehow, being married to a narc has harmed me in a different way. I never saw it coming and this insidious form of emotional abuse is so much worse. Bruises heal and memories fade but what he did to me emotionally is horrible. The loss of hope, the soul-deep exhaustion and the despair that life will never get better has been soul-crushingly hard to deal with, despite a strong support network and therapy. This site has been so empowering, I cannot thank you enough. You have given me hope, courage and strength by helping me find answers. The encouragement and knowing I am not alone, that someone really understands is a truly remarkable blessing. I am starting to understand I was an innocent victim and now I am an even stronger survivor as a result.

  73. jackie

    this really got to me. i had my awakening very very recently when i found out i had been dating a narcissist whilst he was dating another girl at the time and leading on several other girls, as well. this article describes our relationship perfectly. i didnt know how manipulated i was and all of the signs i ignored because i wanted to believe that he really was who he led me to believe he was. so much of my childhood and adolescent years make so much more sense now that i know im very likely an empath. i have always felt very deeply and it scared me as a child so i pushed it away until a few years ago and now i have embraced it, as difficult as it is, it’s incredibly helpful to know that theres a reason i act the way i do.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you for sharing that, Jackie. My healing journey also started with learning I’m an Empath. It all unfolded from there. I hope that will also be the case for you <3

  74. So, Kim, how do I learn to responsibly use the gifts of love, humility, and giving, to develop the natural capacity for healing and teaching others, so that I am not taken advantage of? Having left my N husband after nearly fifty years, I am primarily concerned at this point with how I do that at work, where a recent boss saw me as a “people pleaser.” It was not a compliment. It’s true that in trying to give all I can to my work projects and be the best employee that I can be, I get taken advantage of. How do I change this?

  75. Keensage

    I had my spiritual awakening four years ago (though I had been religious for 20) when I broke up with my NPD. Those nights I spent in my room crying, trying to understand this disorder, dealing with the intense pain, I felt a good presence in my bedroom. It brought me comfort. I really needed it. Alot of people don’t understand npd until they’ve lived through it. I feel like the blindfold was taken from my eyes and heart.

    1. Kaylene

      So True, know how you feel!
      Am almost 1 yr out….Working through it…It was a real Mind Fuck…..Enjoy the new freedom and now appreciate the lessons learnt!!!
      Each day is better…. you will recover and be a different person because of it….
      Follow your heart but alway bring your brain with You…

      1. Kathy Howell

        Love, love the part about not leaving your brain at home!!

        1. kaylene

          So true
          Am to 1 yr out..
          Still have moments, but getting though.
          Agree 100% it too was a mind fuck.
          Almost lost my house!
          But blogs are full of these stories need to get message / education out there so ‘women’ can wise up.
          Have written essay for print media.
          Good Luck!
          You will one recognise how much you have grown fro the N experience.
          Title really should be ‘Experience of Psycopathic Seduction.

  76. Amy

    Interesting read! I’ve JUST discovered (although I’m sure I knew it all along) that I’m an Empath. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed on how to proceed in moving towards working with that in the future. A lot of things are clicking and helping to move negative energy and the people that carry them, out of my life. However, what do you do when one of those people is a textbook narcissist…..but is your dad? I haven’t talked to him in person for almost 10 yrs because I knew, deep down, his prescense in my life was not good. The family thinks poorly of me because of this and I feel massive guilt by not allowing opportunities to spend time together. Next steps/advice?? Thank you!

    1. Kim Saeed

      Hi Amy, thank you for stopping by and for commenting. I realize it’s been quite some time since you left it, but I hope you’ve found some resources to help with your Empathic gifts. Being an Empath can truly be challenging if we haven’t learned how to manage it. One tool that’s helped many Empaths all over the world is The Empath Toolkit, created by my colleague, Dr. Michael Smith. You might want to check it out 🙂

  77. Kim, I have a question. Do you think it possible for a highly sensitive child, neglected and/or traumatized throughout early childhood, deciding in the first few years of his life that his feelings were just to painful to feel, to set some wrong thinking about what the world is like “in stone” and turn into a practicing narcissist?

  78. Anonymous

    I am currently separated from my narcissistic husband of 17 years. I’m seeing a therapist who has informed me that he thinks I am very likely an empath. This has supported the twisted dynamics between me and my husband for so long. I began writing my story but it was becoming a novella. So I’ll just say that today is my first real day of no contact. Within in one hour, I feel a deep sense of calm, panic, and then like someone died. Oh please let this be normal and short lived. I am so glad I found your blog because it makes me feel less alone.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Anon, it may be true that you are an Empath. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Narcissists are attracted to Empaths, though there are other personality traits inherent in their targets.

      I wish I could say that there is a quick path to healing, but the truth is it does take time. However, the fact that you seem to be on a path to discovering yourself is encouraging.

      I’m glad to know my blog is proving helpful to you. Please check out the healing tools here on the site. You may also benefit from psychic cord-cutting and clearing your chakras. Another wonderful resource is a YouTube channel by Jenna Forrest:

      Best of luck!

  79. Moving Forward

    I have been on a desperate search to find others, who like me, know what it is like to be in a relationship with someone who has a true Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I was married to mine for 26 years. I am waiting for the divorce to be final. I am not sure if this will help me feel like some of his control is off of me, but I think it will help. I spent many years forgiving and apologizing thinking I was the cause of his behaviors. He made sure of that. He was such a good manipulator and pathological liar. I found myself being talked out of what I knew to be true and having the situation turned on me and then believing it…he was so good. I have suffered so much and am still trying to figure out who I am vs who he made me believe I was. I have worked hard to get his voice out of my head. I am happy to have found this website. I am seeing a great therapist to help me with the PTSD and journey back to myself. I am still fighting with breaking out of his control over me even though he is no longer in the home. Funny how when your eyes are open you see so much more clearly. I am looking forward to reading more. Thank you for sharing all of your stories.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Moving Forward,

      Thank you for your very kind and encouraging words. I am glad to know you are seeing a good therapist and that you are on your way to recovery. I know what kind of spell you were/are under because I experienced the same from my Ex. If you are Empathic, like me, it’s often more difficult to leave this kind of situation because we believe we can “fix” broken relationships and broken people. But, all that happens is we become depleted in the process.

      Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting <3

  80. mira

    Certainly 2 of my sons & 2 husbands taught me over 35 years that through all that time & pain this is me an empathic person!!

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  82. Susan

    What a blessing it would be, if parents could recognize an empath child, and teach that child the necessary skills. So much is learned too late.

    1. JamieLyn

      I am so happy to have found this website. I have known I am an empath for some time . I
      was in a 12 year relationship with a narcissist and we have a son together. This last 5 years has been the darkest time of my life . I have recently been disgarded (2 weeks before christmas) although I have wanted to be free from him for a while I was financially dependent on him which was and is one of the many ways he humiliated and degraded me daily. I also was a strong person when we meant. This man brought me to my knees and when i think he couldn’t possibly get any worse, he reminds me that he absolutely can and does. I have been through so much humiliation, shame, embarrassed beyond belief, I do not know if I will come back from much more. The lies are unbelievable! The fact that he is so convincing to everyone is so frightening. He seems to have an unlimited amount of energy to make my life so very difficult. He never tires of it. I am so afraid of what this has done to my son and what it will do in the future. He now insists I am trying to turn his son against him and can not see that his own self centeredness is why he is not close with our son. I thought I was insane just like he tells me and anyone who will listen until I stumbled upon a blog on narcissistic abuse . I never had heard of this and then I was reading my life story.
      I would love to know anything that could help me concerning empath and what i may beable to do to begin to protect and heal myself . I do believe my son is an empath too.
      Thank you so much for being out there!

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  84. Tired

    This is me! I’ve made tremendous progress! I finally left the draining relationship, but I am not completely out of the woods yet. We are still legally married, and I am having a hard time letting go. We did have some blissful times, but that got over shadowed by the unbearable times, until those were the only ones left. Why is it that when I am in the process of leaving the relationship, I really start thinking about all of the great times we had? I think it’s a kin to “False Advertisement”! lol

    1. Kim Saeed


      Thank you for stopping by and for commenting.

      What you’ve described is one of the stages we all go through when the relationship is over. Forgetting the bad, and only remembering “the good”. But, it’s important to remember that “the good” times consisted mostly of love-bombing and hoovering, and weren’t based on a sincere heart…at least, not your Ex’s.

      Stay strong. Just keep your eye on the prize (your freedom), putting one foot in front of the other. Don’t fall for his hoovering. You can do this!

  85. Anonymous

    This is me! I’ve made tremendous progress! I finally left the draining relationship, but I am not completely out of the woods yet. We are still legally married, and I am having a hard time letting go. We did have some blissful times, but that got over shadowed by the unbearable times, until those were the only ones left. Why is it that when I am in the process of leaving the relationship, I really start thinking about all of the great times we had? I think it’s a kin to “False Advertisement”! lol

  86. Gail

    yes I discovered I was an Empath by accident after my ex narcs discarded me like a piece of garbage and moved on as if he never knew me….the relationship was always on sided and the more I tried to speak up in the relationship the longer he would give me the distance and silent treatment and blame me. I always was the one begging over and over for forgiveness and crying myself sick sometimes for months at a time. He came back as if nothing ever happened and everything as usual. But occasionally he would bring up the past to remind of what I supposedly did wrong in his sight ! Which would cause me to feel I had to try harder to get myself right or he would leave me. Loving him I didn’t want that so I did everything he suggested..even got counseling for me to change my bad ways ( he says) This man crushed me, my soul, my spirit, my heart, me self esteem and has been 4 months now since he discarded me and I am stilt crying and messed up and shaken up….some days I feel sick and traumatized emotionally…on and off…..Please do not end up with a narc ! Find out what the red flags of a Narc and stay away from them ! WARNING !

  87. Chisty

    Fortunately, I recently ended my one relationship with a narcissist. It lasted a year and half too long. Before reading this article, I knew that I was supposed to learn something about myself. I endured dings at my character and person of the likes I have never known. As soon as I was not in his physical proximity, my positive energy returned. I have seen him a time or two to retrieve my things. I have felt nothing and after methodical devaluing, he had discarded. The night we ended things I saw a cloudy form rise out of him. I felt my soul immediately lock down as if to protect anything from seeping in.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you for sharing that, Chisty…you obviously felt better when out of his presence because you were no longer absorbing his negative, if not malicious, energies.
      Assuming you’re an Empath, have you tried any grounding techniques?

  88. Steve

    I’d been NCAA since May 26th. Apparently in response to finding out I was longer going to lie about our affair and being confronted with a copy of an email from her current (?) boyfriend, she immediately ran to her boss, a judge, and accused me of sexually harassing and stalker her. In a meeting at which I was not present she did admit the harassment claim was false and that we had a 4 month “affair” (we’ve been involved platonically and romantically off and on over the last 19 years. Then, in front of your boss, the judge, by boss the elected criminal prosecutor in our county and the deputy prosecutor, she produces a recording of a conversation we had (made with my consent which is a felony in our State. Because I, as well as others belief she has had an affair with her boss, nothing happens to her and I am told my job is hanging by a thread. These people are evil, vengeful and have absolutely not conscience at all.

  89. Susan

    Thank you so much for posting this. I grew up with a deeply narcissistic father but had no clue as a child about the dysfunction. In my early 30’s my husband and I moved into a two family home with my folks in order to help support them financially in their retirement. I have now spent 20 years of my adulthood trying to please a father who is incapable of returning any love or concern for the needs, wants or feelings of anyone else. I have known for years that we needed to move for the sake of my mental health but hubby was not on board with the idea. Now I understand that I am empathic and the problem has not been my overly sensitive nature, but the soul sucking dysfunction of living as an empath in a home with no escape from narcissistic energy. God is good, however, and events have worked out that are forcing us to move to our own home. Hooray! However, I need help learning how to live, grow, and thrive in this world as an empath. Where do I start?

  90. Xavik

    I always knew i was Empath.. I so wanted to fix this Narc.. But it was the biggest mistake I committed in my life.. I learned the best lesson in my life abd thank to God for helping me out of this toxic relationship. Still in pain but i have faith that i will make it.. They are so toxic and best way is to stay away.

  91. Anonymous Empath

    Dear *****,
    I’m writing to you because I’ve had something of a breakthrough today. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and explorative thinking on the way that empaths and narcissists interact, and how easy it can be for a deeply caring person (and I suspect that you are such a person) to make judgement calls based on empathy.
    I have been very angry with you for a long time because of the way you colluded with ***** during our divorce. I could not explain how someone like you– someone who I’d always regarded as trustworthy and full of feeling– could do some of the things you did. The effects were devastating for me; I felt terrorized, humiliated, miserable, betrayed, and heartbroken.
    Below is a letter that I sent tonight to a fellow empath who grievously wronged me as a result of his belief in what my narcissistic ex-husband told him. It has been very healing for me to understand and forgive this person, and I hope it does some good for someone else.

    “Dear *****,

    I’m writing to you because I’ve had something of a breakthrough today. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and explorative thinking on the way that empaths and narcissists interact, and how easy it can be for a deeply caring person (and I suspect that you are such a person) to make judgement calls based on empathy.
    I have been very angry with you for a long time because of the way you colluded with ***** during our divorce. I could not explain how someone like you– someone who I’d always regarded as trustworthy and full of feeling– could do some of the things you did. The effects were devastating for me; I felt terrorized, humiliated, miserable, betrayed, and heartbroken.

    During my subsequent reconciliation with him, I was told that you had been the driving force behind his hurtful actions. ***** said that you had broken into my house alone and of your own volition when I wasn’t home, that you were the one who called DFCS to report me. I was assured that *****, himself, would never have discarded me so inhumanely without your stronger influence to encourage him. He also told me that you had apologized to him for the mean things you’d said to him about me– but I was too convinced of your depravity to do anything but scoff.

    At that time, *****’s assertions that you were the source of his prior confusion made perfect sense to me. Further, I desperately wanted to believe that he’d loved me all along and that a miraculous reconciliation was possible. Since the anguish that his behavior had induced was irrefutably real, I think that I subconsciously needed to transfer culpability away from my husband in order to feel secure. I transferred the blame onto you and accepted his story.

    It was easy to believe. Your incredible ‘villainy’ fit just so into my own suppositions; those speculations of mine having been formed of what I’d personally witnessed. It lent unequivocal credence to *****’s version of the truth that you’d been so calmly complicit in the strategic abduction of my children from the ********* square.

    From where I stood, you were a heartless and dangerous man who had posed as my friend. I hated you for it and never wanted to see you again.

    But because of my epiphany earlier today I realized that even if the pain and anger I felt were valid, my harsh judgement of your character and resultant contempt for your rotten guts were very likely unjust; were probably the result of my biased misinterpretation of what happened and why.

    I don’t know what your relationship to ***** is today and I don’t ask to know– nor do I need any sort of acknowledgement or response from you in this connection. All I want to say is that I’m no longer angry at you for what happened. I’m inclined to believe that you did what you did, though dark is the irony, out of love for ***** and real concern for the safety of the innocent.

    How can I fault a man who is willing to risk his hide and his principles out of love for his brother, much less for the welfare of my own precious children? I can’t when I think it through– so it’s with great relief that I’m finally able to realize this and sincerely relate the same to you.

    If my instincts are correct, and you really were just doing what you felt was necessary based on the information available to you and because of your naturally deep compassion, then I hope that this message serves to alleviate any existent painful guilt or regret that you may carry.

    Like I said, the fact that I’ve made a similar error–one of discernment rather than cruelty–inspired a sudden feeling of connection with you and I felt called to share it for reasons of my own.

    The children are all well and happy, and so am I. I hope you and yours are too.


  92. Linda Grainger

    I just turned 60. I met my husband at 17 years of age, married him at 18. After 40 years of marriage I can now truly say I am an ENFJ who married a narcissist. Arrogant, bullying, controlling, he all but destroyed me. But, he didn’t. Here I am, still standing. I did my own divorce last year, educated myself from websites such as this, took the very valuable advice websites like this give, and decided to live out the rest of my life as me. I am still discovering who I am based on the fact that for 40 years my focus was on my ex 24/7 trying to do everything right for him. I don’t know what books I like, what music I like, what colors are my favorite. I was told recently, before my divorce, that I do not exist in my own skin. Now I understand what they meant. I am moving on now to discover me. I think I might like what I find. Thank you for all your help!

  93. Anonymous

    Yes I discovered that this was the dynamic of my last relationship and also two other relationships of my past that were so destructive on my well being. I guess I had this relationship again bc I hadn’t fully worked out what had happened to me in the past. I just hope I can heal and stop the addictive thinking on the last relationship.

  94. Kim Saeed

    It hasn’t shown up yet since I’ve yet to approve it…

  95. Kim Saeed

    Would you like for me to delete it? I think otherwise you’d need to create an anonymous gravatar…

  96. Lottie Pop

    You can delete the 2 other posts from Lottie pop ad wel!

  97. Susan

    Yes and I went as far as to get married to a narcissist- he was such a bully and never had a thing good to say about anyone. I could write a lot, but suffice it to say, I am very grateful I was able to exit that toxic relationship!

    1. Kim Saeed

      Good for you, Susan! I’m sure you’re in a much better place now 🙂

  98. Kaylene

    Certainly realised I was an Empath, ended N Passive / Manipulative relationship 8 months ago after 4.5 yrs, although it was really over 18 months earllier.
    Has been the biggest learning curve of my life, and as such now on a self-discovery adventure to better understand myself and to re-programme myself for future!!!
    It had certainly been a roller coaster, and one I never wish to experience again.
    All the hall mark signs were there from day 1.
    And over the time the closer I felt connected the more he move away emotionally. The sex was the driving force for him, but there was no real close affection at other times.
    It become impossible! Could no longer give through exhaustion, and it was always ‘one way’ only giving me ‘token’ interest, and was about ‘booty’ calls during last 1yr.
    Unfortunately it is not until one leaves this relationship that you realise what a Narcisist is.
    And then the partner learns of their co-dependancy and how it plays out!!!!
    Yes it cost money, and emotionally damaged self-esteem, the real person only emerged well away from any social situations.
    This is a wonderful resource, but I have done so much reading to learn of this disorder and better understand myself.
    I think the message to get out to people is to ‘stick to our core’ emotional boundaries and to always follow the ‘gut’ feeling they are always right.
    Keep up the good work.
    Cheers Now

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you so much for your insightful comment! I hope you’re still on a learning and healing journey back to your true self.

      Hugs <3

  99. Anissa Elfakir

    OMG this is my life until now! I feel like the first part of my life was about me getting this point. It was and still is HARD but I feel so blessed and I AM so grateful to have experienced it, because it led me to what I could now call my SPIRITUAL AWAKENING (yeah! I made it!). I AM and We are ONE! So thank you all narcissists that helped me get the lesson, and may god, spirit, source whatever you wanna call it, help you! I AM Done. I AM gonna shine even brighter, expand, live up to my highest potential, and share my gifts with everyone who is ready to receive them, because of you.<3

    1. Kim Saeed

      Wow, Anissa! Very wise words, indeed! I am also grateful for the lessons learned <3

    2. Victoria

      Anissa, I am getting there s l o w l y. It is with great joy to know that it will be possible for me to join that happy place called “Loving Myself”. I would not have had that “awakening” without reading experiences from people like you. I live “One day at a time” 🙂

    3. Hil

      Congrats! It’s so nice to read posts like yours and know we’re not alone, and we’re not crazy! Spiritual awakenings are very real – and it’s amazing when you finally feel so at peace, you can even be grateful for the narcissists who have helped you reach this point! <3

  100. Yana

    I just went through a 3 year “relationship” of this kind, me being the empath side (of course the other side does not even contemplate that there is a problem). And this is what it tought me – it is easy to put all the negativity to narcissist. But there is a big problem, a hole, in empath that is being filled in this kind of a relationship. We are also compensating for something. It is not that we don’t have ego, our ego is of different nature. We find narcissist fascinating because we miss love for ourselves.
    It is easier to love another than oneself. Narcissist don’t really have love for themselves, this is how it looks like to us who are used to ignoring ourselves. Our self-esteem is very low. So we are looking for “strenght” in our opposite.
    I hope that each of these experiences we go through bring us closer to balance. On both ends.

  101. Anonymous

    “..and what then happens to the poor narcissist” said the concerned empath..

    1. Kim Saeed

      Anon, that is funny and true at the same time. But, once we embrace being Empathic, we learn that other people have their own soul lessons to learn. We can carry others only so far, and then it’s up to them. Narcissists simply aren’t interested in any of that 🙂

      1. Victoria

        I had so many “why” questions through a 30 year marriage. I now know that I am an empath sensitive and he is a narcissist. I now have the answers to all of my “why’s” through introspect and retrospect. Finally, I have answers to what kept me in my marriage and how I allowed myself to accept his way of thinking. He accused me that I was the problem and I created it. He convinced our children, friends and family that I was bi-polar and crazy. Yes, I became to believe that I was the problem and had a mental illness. I went on a mission to be a better person, mother and friend which would make my life better. Did it? No, it sure did not but it made everyone else’s life better. I became a doormat, punching bag and a trash receptacle for all who needed one while trying to become that better person, mother and friend.
        Through my journey of “real healing”, I have filed for divorce, no toxic people allowed and have told my children that I am their mother who deserves respect and I will not settle for less. I am returning to that person I once was… MY REAL SELF. 🙂

  102. Auntster

    I’m an ISTJ, but still feel that I’m an Empath that was used by a narcissist. The break-up of five-year relationship was quite dirty, he had another woman that he tried to hide from me. Now, two years after break-up, I’m more or less recovered, but he has managed to mess up his life the way he could never have expected… from my point of view, only because his emotional skills are quite underdeveloped.
    During our relationship I felt that he takes all my energy and I get nothing back. I was being kind and patient. Nothing he did was wrong. When I tried to explain him that I’m not trying to change him, I’m just telling how bad it feels when he does something that bothers me and ask him to stop doing that, he just told me that “I’m like this, don’t try to change me”.

    1. jjmary

      oh my gosh….different, but so similar- your’s said “I’m like this, don’t try to change me.” Mine always said (when I tried to explain how I was feeling)- “stop trying to make me feel bad about myself.” – perfect examples of inability and unwillingness to empathize…they go into their shell and whine as they discard our words, I bet without even processing the meaning or emotion…they just know it is not a praise party for them and they shut down and out. Never never never in 6 months did I have one reasonable conversation about an issue that concerned me- it was not allowed…….literally, he would hang up, go off- line mid sentence, disappear for several days -.the unspoken message to me was: you go there, I leave you. I am now trying NC…….he is not living near me and I strongly suspect has back-up relationships (actually I may be the back-up!), so he won’t care that I fade away….I was just another notch on his belt. he had been playing the pull-away game with me for acouple months now…his favorite game was to be out of touch right after I had done something particularly nice- like send a gift or write a love poem (yeah, I am a fool)…..put , like all of us know- we jump through hoops! And none of it helps.

  103. Anonymous

    This brought me to tears. It so succinctly describes many of my previous romantic relationships and why they were so wrong, exhausting and emotionally hurtful. Thanks so much for writing this, it has really helped. Anne (INFJ)

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you for sharing that, Anon. It’s very encouraging to know my post helped you.

      Kim <3

    2. r

      my boyfriend and I were engaged and had been together for 5 years.we raised each others children, we were a the end,after making me penniless and homeless,he dumped me.and when I stood up for myself FINALLY,he told me to keep my shit,i’m selfish,get out of his life! I had my kids w/me the ones HE helped raise,he didn’t care that the street was our only option.he had family,places to and my kids had no one’.the difference is that this time,I didn’t apologize for what I had said and I didn’t beg him to come back. i accept now that he sexually abused me in the beginning,he forced me into a threesome.i cried during the act.I was not the women I had thought I was.i was tired and ruined and I loved him, but being so heartless about my kids,I have no love for him anymore.he is a monster.I did my own diagnosis of him,he is passive/aggressive and narcissistic.and I am a empath. i am soo sad and mad and……..i jumped thru so many hoops & put up w/so much crap to prove I was worthy,all for nothing.I had wanted to be with him forever. he hasn’t asked me to come back,he wont.its not his way.

      1. Anon

        I had a partner who did the same. I can relate to pretty much everything you said about the relationship, except we don’t have children. Everything else was eerily, exactly the freaking same.
        I don’t like that there are so many exploitative people out there. It’s terrifying.

      2. Anon

        ATTN MODS: please please delete my comments. I don’t know how to, but it’s linked to Facebook and come up in my name, please

        I had a partner who did the same. I can relate to pretty much everything you said about the relationship, except we don’t have children. Everything else was eerily, exactly the freaking same.
        I don’t like that there are so many exploitative people out there. It’s terrifying.

        1. Kim Saeed


          I removed the URL to FB and changed you to Anon. Does that help?

      3. jjmary

        oh my gosh- “I jumped through so many hoops and put up with so much crap to prove I was worthy, all for nothing.” I feel a chill down my spine…this exactly describes what my 6 months with the narc were like…..I am now trying to pull back, striving for NC…… is very hard to stay strong, although he has cut off communication for days before, so he may not even notice for awhile I am not following my usual desperate pattern of chasing after him with texts, e-mails, mailed gifts (we live in different states etc….) .I .sent one last message which I kept kind (cause I have seen a hint of his potential to strike out), saying basically ….I am not feeling loved, it is no one’s fault…..things have changed and it makes me sad and confused…but it is what it is….I closed with “you are a kind person and I do not blame you in anyway (this was a total lie- I said it for self-protection )…..telling him the truth about his negligence of me, using me (including financially), ignoring me in moments of great need (i.e. surgery!!)- I have tried to ask him about that before, he never accepts any blame, not even, a sorry I should have been there for you. So yes, jumping through hoops, all for nothing , to prove I was worthy? He never treated me like I was worth anything except any occasional love-bombing session at the start of it all. After that, it was me dancing around frantically trying to entertain, flatter, and regain his attention…..I am so done……I pray I don’t relapse…cause I have halfways tried this before.. I hope he doesn’t contact me…..that willl be easiest..

        1. Kaylene

          Last coment so accurate, yep just over 1 yr out finally feeling on top of life.
          Agree it was one of my biggest and major learning curves to understand my personality.
          After the N experience. All the hallmark signs displayed and played out.
          I will never jump through hoops again.
          The de-basing, gaslighting, exploitation and facial expression of Glibness (so prevalent with Ns) are major behaviour traits, understand to help you heal. My willingness to be treated in such a manner… ummm just like the litetature states: I had to make an emotional decision to no longer be subjected to such treatment so finally ended!
          I was 4th in his pecking order and was ‘love bombed’ for sex, until I woke up.
          He had emotionally separated from me 15 mos before finally I ended it.
          You will never ‘win’ it was not a ‘real’ relationship. You become exhausted from making his world complete while you become alienated fron your world, always keep your sense of self.
          Run as soon as you can it was never real!

  104. Eilonwy

    I don’t understand why it’s INFJ for empaths, when the J means Judging. Wouldn’t INFP make more sense since the P is perceiving? I thought empaths do the complete opposite of judging!

    1. Helene

      I am right now so destroyed I have been in a on again or off again relationship with my Narcissists it is so painful I can not think straight for 30 years or so. I tried to get over this person,so many times I forgotten to fight for me, however he was the one to break the walls I had build up over my younger years witch gives him even more power and control over me. When I met him it was I that was so willing to give over control I needed someone else to take charge I was tried supporting and raising everyone in my family I went to work at 13 and met him in my thirty’s I truly believed in him, what a fool I am, now after many years of being a target anyone looking for someone like me, because of him I am even a bigger fool. I am and have been an Empathy with abilities to heal the physical body as well as the mental pains of others but as you state. And truth being, he is one of the best con I have known I consisted myself a highly intelligent person. I had the ability to swore and succeed at anything I put my mind to but now, as you state above I am nothing more then an empty person with nothing but the most painful hurt I have ever had to try to deal with truthfully I am losing the battle fast going down not only emotionally, physically and financially. This is the very first time I am unable to see any future at all I just can’t take another hit and make it back once I lose my financial life I am doomed it over I have nothing left to fight with. I know intellectually you are right but this time I am left unable to feel any desire to go on. It is if all I am waiting for is death he has destroyed me to this point. I feel as if for the first in my life I truly give up.

  105. Steve

    I am going through the difficult process of disengaging from my N. But I am beginning to understand myself a little better. Call me a HSP or an Empath or whatever, but the description fits and the behavior patterns described for both myself and my N fit almost perfectly. This is by far the hardest emotional – and physical – challenge I’ve faced in my 52 years on this planet.

    Thank you for the support.

    1. Kim Saeed

      I am sorry you are experiencing this, Steve. I can relate to the struggles you are facing right now. It’s taken me about three years to fully recover from Narcissistic abuse. However, I’m happy to say that through consistent effort, I’m not only healed, but happier than I’ve ever been. I had to make a lot of changes in my life, but they all brought me to where I am.

  106. Pingback: Michel de Montaigne And I – Belonging To Oneself | Simple Pleasures

  107. Bagpuss

    Really interesting, INFJ is my result and yet my ex reckons I am a psychopath!!!!

  108. 18mitzvot

    wow. I never heard of INFJ before. I learn so much from your site. Thank you, Kim.

  109. Sonya Jones


  110. Sonya Jones

    Also, what do the abbreviations mean? INFJ, INFP … Sorry, not dumb, just blonde!!

    1. Kathy

      I – Introverted
      N – Intuitive
      F – Feeling
      J – Judgmental
      P – Perceptive

  111. Sonya Jones

    Hi there.. I was awakened alright! It was the scariest time of my life.. To realise that I was different to EVERYONE around me.. My whole family, parents, siblings, kids, partners.. All disordered in some way.. I hid in my room scared to death of everyone. It’s been 18mths.. And I’m yet to know another Empath type.. IM SOOO LONELY! Actually even battled suicidal thoughts as I thought, I’m going to be abused by all around me forever, or I can end my suffering.. It took a long time.. But I choose life.. Would really love to have a friend like me, and not trying to destroy me!!!!! Just sayin…

  112. idiotwriter

    Hey, just me again –
    I thought I was a narc. Then I read about co narc – then I read and read and read…
    I somehow understood so much all along – and then I found your site…must be nearly a year ago now hey Kim.
    So MUCH gleaned and so much understood – that FINAL awakening.
    I think I kinda woke up real slow after an abusive ‘relationship’ and straight into a new one with a very caring man. All those hang overs of ‘I won’t hurt like that again’ swung me to unrealistic expectations of myself AND my partner…yet ALWAYS wanting to WORK on it – fix it – figure out WHY??
    It can be hard not to slip and sink into the bad patterns though! Gets better and easier as the years go by.
    Information helps – a lot. Instinct when in tune in the CORRECT wat helps a lot.

    I know you may not have this answer but I see you had there about INFJ being empath.
    My whole family did that test (it was HILARIOUSLY accurate – AND MOST helpful)
    But I was wondering if you knew if INFP could be empath/hsp too?
    Seems Daughter nad self teeter between the two. THOUGH – I KINDA enjoy the thpough of being a INFP balancing out as SO SO MANY brilliant writers are INFP’S! LOL!
    ANyway – taking a break from blogging to refocus and de-stimulate from exhaustion…and this is where I end up this Sunday morning.
    I thought i had it sorted (balance) – and I did for some time and I imagine that I have had but am sucking up too much of something I should not be so have completely lost track of ME 😉
    THAT was a lot of info – sorry babe!
    Just about that INFJ vs INFP – EMPATH thing – if you know hey.

    Take care dear.

  113. Sonya Jones

    Hi Kim, my journey with my Narc partner has been such a painful one. Being an Empath, I just couldn’t get my head around the fact that he didn’t think the way I thought and that somehow he could fall in love with me if I just hung in there. I have cried so many tears and felt so much pain. The bible says that God stores up all our tears in heaven, well I reckon He uses my tears alone to do all the retic up there. All my life my only desire was to get married have kids and have a wonderful family. This past partner is my third long term relationship. All of them have been Narcs or Sociopaths. I’ve only just been able to close the door to my current partner, thru the counselling of a couple in my folks church.
    Kim, I am astounded at how many Narcs there are around me. My parents are, my siblings, my kids, and I don’t have any friends cos I’ve spent the past 8 yrs sick in bed with Lymes Disease/CFS.
    So from a young child I have been formed to accept the narcistic behaviour as normal. What hope did I have. I currently live with my folks as I need looking after because of my ill health.. I’ve only just realised I’m different the past two years.. And wen I first realised, I hid in my room petrified of everyone. My parents are God fearing Christians an ran a successful church and helped a lot of people. Will they go to heaven? Even tho they are disordered? To my knowledge neither of my folks or siblings have cheated on their partners, yet their partners have cheated on them. I am totally unable to cheat.. Wen I am committed to someone, it’s like I have a manically forcefield around me which would not allow this to even be an option. All 3 of my partners cheated constantly and it was my worst fear.
    Kim, if you have any advise for me, I’d be very greatful. I doubt I will ever meet a male empath as they seem as rare as hens teeth. And I’m already 44 yrs old and I reckon all the good ones would be taken. I feel sad at the concept that I will never in my life time experience true love.. It makes me sad. But I am fortunate to still have my life and I want to live it now, with my new found knowledge to the best of my ability.

    Thankyou and love you for being a safe place for us victims to fall. I just wish their were more awesome and courageous men and women in the world like you.

    Sonya xxxx

    1. Kim Saeed


      Don’t give up on yourself! I can testify that if you do the self-work needed to heal your past hurts and traumas, you will then attract someone very fitting for your inner Empath. I have a suggestion for you. I’ve just made a networking connection with a very talented man who has a free e-book that might be of help to your situation. Here’s the link: I would also recommend Jenna Forrest:

      You have a purpose here, Sonya. Do the self-work, and you will discover a whole new world that you never believed possible!

      Light and Love,


  114. Bagpuss

    Just come out of such a situation, a horrific mess, emotions, self esteem, who I actually am or was, all shattered. Typical narc traits in what I thought at the start was the most perfect wonderful lady, she was and head over heels I went, she fell pregnant after 2 months, moved in, had a termination and then it all started, criticism, mind games, belittlement, hot and cold, thought she was the most important person in the world, yet to her friends she was sweetness and light!!
    We broke up then tried again and all was fine, lovely weekend spent together, text in the morning saying we should go for supper the following evening then 2 hours later she dumped me.
    Needless to say I gave everything I had to give, energy, love, care, trust, emotion etc etc
    I came out a wreck and despite it being only 42 days ago, still feel like a wreck but with help from some truly great friends, a great counsellor and a lovely Black Labrador am slowly piecing it all together.
    She on the other hand was on a dating site less than 24hrs after and I think has moved on by now. Although strict no contact since the split has helped tremendously.
    The troubling things to me have been coming to terms with it all, main points:
    a) The relationship was never real, just an illusion
    b) How could I get it so wrong (despite the little red flags)
    c) The realization that I was attracted to this style of relationship (very worrying)
    d) The idea that my lifetime’s view of relationships and how they should be is wrong
    e) The relationship excited me, the highs and the lows made me feel alive, more so than being in a relationship with a normal lovely lady ( I am aware this must point that I must have some personality disorder for this to be so, not sure which one!??)
    f) I’d have her back tomorrow if I could (I know…………!!!!)
    g) the termination and associated guilt is very troubling but have come to terms that we did the right thing at that moment in time, the after effects still haunt me personally.

    I am still addicted but am sure it’ll get better over time.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Bagpuss, did you go with her to the clinic for the termination? Did you actually see anything concrete that validated that she was pregnant, or was everything just her word?

      Your feelings are very common after having come out of a relationship with someone like her, even the fact that you find “normal” relationships boring. That doesn’t mean you’re sick, only that you have a biochemical addiction to the ups and downs you experienced, which can be overcome. Spend some time practicing the healing tools I have on my site. You may find you’ll heal faster than you originally believed…

      1. Bagpuss

        Yes, she was definitely pregnant and went to clinic with her yes.
        No, am not sick, just different I guess at the moment!!!
        I do feel it was all cut too short, we both never got going, for whatever reasons, fear, etc
        I am sure I was as much to blame as she was!.

  115. JD

    I am the empath who got destroyed but I am coming back strong. It is difficult because I want revenge but I know it will not help me or change what I went through. It helps to know I wasnt duped or snowed per se.. She is sick and did want my love and got it but she can’t love back so I naturally lost my desire to keep her on the pedestal which caused her to go into rages or fits like a 6 year old not getting her way only to beg and plead for me not tp go or end the relationship all the while blaming me for her rage and tantrums.. lol. It was a freak show for sure. I know I am very loveable and a good man and I will never ever settle for a miserable excuse of a woman again. It is sad I put up with it for two years but no kids and no contact now for twoy ears and I am doing better. I won’t ever be the same but I think thats a good thing because I have learned my opinion is all the matters and God has me here to help others and warn others if possible. Its a weird proposition because I don’t want to stay stuck in the past or portray I cant move on yet I feel empowered to be a voice against the disordered especially since men can be ridiculed for claiming they were abused. I guess God will show me exactly if,how and when I am to do so. I don’t want to do it from a revenge perspective but rather from an enlightened place showing compassion to those sickos who dont deserve it. Lol. Thank you!

    1. Kim Saeed


      Ahhhh…the old, “I hate you, don’t leave me” bit. They are masters at it, aren’t they?

      I’m glad to know you’re out and moving on. It’s also refreshing to see that you don’t seek revenge, but simply want to advocate for others from an enlightened perspective. There are a lot of men out there that could use help in their own abusive situations.

      When we get to a point where we can interact with the disordered without feeling resentment, hurt, dreams of revenge, etc., then that’s when we’ve truly healed. Enlightenment can only be achieved through consistent effort, and includes different methods alongside becoming educated on the subject of Narcissism and related disorders. Education is important, but it doesn’t heal us. Healing comes from releasing negative energies, past traumas, and self-love. That’s why I promote a holistic approach to recovery…

      Best wishes for you on your continued healing 🙂

      1. JD

        Yes it was extremely confusing to be the cause of her horrible life ( I bought her a BMW, took trips, new purses, new house for her brat kids,etc) yet she wouldn’t let me leave nor would she leave after her Narc rages when she bit and slapped me and dug her nails into my sides. I don’tthink Ghandi ccould interact with a Narc from a place of enlightenment but maybe from a no contact distance after a period of time perhaps 🙂 Thank you for all you do and any ideas on how to help others would be appreciated. I have thought about obtaining an lmsw in clinical social work but that is a lot of school but it also would give me a start. My focus is on healing really but I believe part of that is helping others.

  116. Anne

    Thank you Mary. I will try that approach. Best wishes to everyone here.

  117. Anne

    So this explains the cycle of abuse I encountered. I think and feel very deeply abut the people around me and the world and well… the universe. But I’m very much extroverted and I’ve been mauled raw by a narci father and ground into bonemeal by a narci ex boyfriend. By now I’ve learned to be better about caring for myself, but not letting go of my true self that loves to help others.

    Does anyone ever feel like they have had to be the “parent” of a relationship? Like with my father, I had always had to be the calm rational one as he barraged me with everything under the sun. I always had out of the blue barbs thrown at me or accusations. At the end of it I would end up crying alone in my room from the effort to be the mature one.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Anne, many people are ENFJ, as opposed to INFJ. The only difference in them is that one is extroverted, while the other is introverted. All other traits are the same 🙂

      Your experience with your father may have conditioned you to accept behaviors in relationships that aren’t in your best interest. I’m so glad to know your boyfriend is an Ex and that you are now taking care of yourself! Have you ever done any Inner Child healing? That’s always helpful when we felt unloved as a child. Sounds like you are doing okay, though…keep up the good work 🙂

      1. Anne

        I am doing much better. Found people I could talk to and started taking an active approach to dealing and healing as well as helping others. I don’t know where to start with healing my inner child though.

        1. Mary Lee Morgan

          Anne, for whatever it’s worth, I can share my own experience about that. As a young woman, when flustered or upset, my young adult self would withdraw and I would revert to my hurt inner child. I did not realize that I was doing this, but in doing my therapy work it was pointed out to me by a very nice psychiatrist that I trusted. He told me that I had a competent adult, that he had witnessed that. But that when I got upset, I was sending the child out to do the woman’s job. She was only six years old. Of course she didn’t get things right. Even though I had begun to do inner child work–making a doll that resembled me as a child and taking special care of her, writing, etc.–it was really that psychiatrist’s statement that got me to sit up and take notice, I think because he was so non-judgmental and kind about it. In sending out the child (children are always unprepared and overwhelmed by adult responsibilities) out to do the woman’s job, I myself was perpetuating my abuse. I wanted none of that.

          Also, part of the inner child work for me was this idea of re-parenting oneself. I had two challenges with this. One was that before I could successfully do that I had to choose to love the child that I had been. It wasn’t enough to intellectually acknowledge that the abuse was not her fault, I had to stop being ashamed of her, stop any negative feelings toward her. I needed to choose to love her. The second challenge was that I felt a huge resistance to the idea of re-parenting myself. Someone had screwed up my life, someone had left me without things I needed to navigate successfully in an adult world, someone had hurt and failed me, and someone owed me, big time. It just wasn’t fair to ask me to do that for myself. I felt a huge resentment about that. Someone, somehow, should do this for me. Eventually, though, it dawned on me–and this took awhile–that I was the best person for the job. I had kids of my own by then and knew I had good mom instincts. I learned more about love from being a mother than I had from being a child.

          There were two basic reasons I was the best–and only–person for the job. The first one, fair or not fair, is that the window for anyone else to do it had long since closed. It just wasn’t possible. But second, I was the best person for the job because I was the only one who was there for all that abuse, the only one who know how that little girl felt, how she interpreted things, what conclusions she had made, and what she had come to believe about herself as a result of that. I was the only one who could go back in time to comfort her, to help her understand what had happened from a rational, adult point of view. At the time she was hurt, she simply was not old enough to have an accurate perspective, she did not have the developmental abilities to do anything constructive with her feelings. But I could. I could tell her that what the abuser had said was not true, and that what he did was about him, not her. I could comfort her and help her to get past the conclusions that children universally make: it was my fault. I deserved this.

          None of this happened easily and it took years, but as I shared recently, after making a very safe and wonderful place for her inside myself, I very consciously never again pushed her out to do the woman’s job. Eventually she grew up, too, to become the part of me, the adult, that she should be.

          I hope you can use something from my experience as you seek your own path to inner healing.

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  119. I have never really had a proper relationship up to now (I am 31), and there are various reasons for this. Mistrust, cynicism about the ways of the modern world in getting you to “sell-out” to a consumptive lifestyle, where I see sex as one commodity within this consumptive framework. Another has been a worry not of narcissism in a partner, but of narcissism in myself, and that this would be brought out in a relationship and I would end up doing a lot of emotional damage. I was assured by a counsellor that this was not the case, and that I didn’t have this particular disorder of NPD, but it still is something that plays on my mind. I would only want to be in a relationship with the right kind of person, otherwise I am happy to be on my own. I think in many relationships problems probably develop because of conflicts of needs not resolved due to one or both of the partners being afraid to assert themselves, lest they end up on their own. This lack of assertion I think could then lead to a development of narcissistic symptoms in one of the partners as something like a tumour. It being the result of the unhealthy relationship, as much, if not more than some innate qualities of narcissism in the individual. It is just something I was thinking about. I wonder what your thoughts would be on this?

    1. Kim Saeed

      Excellent insight, Jonathan. What you described as lack of assertion turning into a tumor is rather like co-depedency. The codependent fails to establish any boundaries and the Narcissist thrives off of that. In fact, Narcissists only choose partners who don’t establish any boundaries because there is no room for someone else’s “junk” when a Narc is involved.

      The fact that you are concerned about creating emotional damage makes me wonder if you are not Narcissistic, but simply afraid of hurting other people, which would mean you definitely are NOT. With that being said, you are correct in that most relationships are based on elements of control, manipulation, ego, jealousy, insecurities, etc. None of those things lead to a healthy relationship. People go in expecting things from the other person because they are looking to fill a void within themselves, that’s why many relationships fail…

      I think a great model for relationships is to start out as a friendship and evolve according to Deepak Chakra’s 3 stages of Love. No instant relationships with strangers…I now find the concept rather appalling. How can we make a life with someone we barely know?

      1. Thanks, and that is a good point, in trying to make a life with a person you barely know, you are bound to go in with a lot of assumptions about them, of which many will turn out to be false more than likely. So much better to take time to get to know a person first so that the relationship can be more based on knowledge rather than assumptions.

  120. Patneia

    Your information is amazing. I am in the struggle. Hovering, a word I did not even know, has labeled yet another episode of “bad boy coming back”…BUT this time I know what it’s all about. Knowledge IS power, and I need all I can muster. Social media has allowed me to see new supplies lined up and outlandishly flaunt n flirt; and now the religious boo hoos that make him the victim etc. As well as all kinds of little pics and wisdom quotes about “people leaving people etc” It’s all such ironic dispicsble falsehood. I have not returned texts/emails etc of how much I’m needed etc. Let the four new supplies fill the gap. I’ve learned so much and am learning so much and gathering resolve from your site n the other empaths. Thank you. Thank you for a life preserver in my swim of rigor!!

    1. Kim Saeed

      Patneia, remember the quote, “All the World’s a Stage”? It didn’t really originate with Shakespeare. It was created by a Narcissist.

      They’re so predictable, just like the four seasons. The social media flaunt-fests, the lies, the manipulation, the acting…I wish there were some sort of betting venue on Narcissistic behaviors, we’d all be rich.

      Just consider him a malignant tumor that you’ve excised. You’ll feel better and live longer without him.

  121. emergingfromthedarknight

    Yes, that seems spot on Kim… my sister has been living with my mother for over a year and wont take any steps to take care of herself. I think I also enable her at times. I tried to get her support the week before last but she took it as an attack. I apologised as maybe that was a boundary violation on my part, but I was so worried for the impact on my Mum of trying to support this sister. Her sons believe she is bi polar. I have been very confused by this diagnosis. To complicate matters my oldest sister died last Sunday … it has been very hard. My family have now placed my sister in hospital again, which scares me. I find it hard to have boundaries from her pain and get confused as to how responsible she really is. I feel I need to pull back. I would appreciate your feed back. Thanks so much for this site .. it is fantastic. 🙂

  122. emergingfromthedarknight

    And at the moment my mother seems to be going through something hard with my sister who wont stand on her own feet. She has been a giving person to people all her life but often gets little back. I am interested in learning more about how and why we develop codependent behaviours as a defence. Maybe you will write a ;post on that.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Emerging, without knowing more about your mother’s situation with your sister…are your saying your Mom has always been giving and gotten little back?

      I know of parents who don’t seem to be able to set boundaries with their adult children, and they are taken advantage of, sometimes way too much.

      When we give unconditionally and there is no improvement, it gets to the point that we are actually enabling the negative behaviors in the other person, whether it be a child, spouse, friend, etc. It may be that your mom needs to start setting some boundaries. Example, if your sister isn’t working, your mom could say, “I’m going to help you for two more months. That will give you time to find employment. After that, I’m afraid I won’t be able to help any more.”

      Just using that as an example since I don’t know the real situation. I’ll keep codependency as a defense on my list of to-do 🙂

  123. emergingfromthedarknight

    This is just so helpful, Kim. It now makes even more sense to me. I have been a person who tries to fix or be there with people who are suffering and it took me a lot of involvement in Al Anon to learn this wasn’t my job, but I still go through it with family. My heart goes out to Susan because I know the pain of that kind of relationship. I was left on the side of the road in the rain in a town 3 thousand miles from home by my ex narc for reving the car engine too hard…that is just one incident. It will be so helpful to read further posts on dealing with being an Empath because I now realise it is why I have had such a struggle. Therapists aren’t much help with this are they? God bless you..and the work you are doing on here.

    1. Kim Saeed


      I visited several counselors and could never find any relief. I always felt I was steps ahead of them and ended up taking matters into my own hands. It’s taken me almost three years to get to where I am now, and I still have a way to go.

      I will definitely be posting more about Empaths. Thanks for the input 🙂

  124. Pingback: Get out of my life!! | Magpie

  125. Theonethatgotaway

    Yes my 5 year relationship with my ex narc was an eye opener. I’m definitely and empath and dating my ex was exhausting. I was constantly trying to give and “fix” him. He resented me for that. He use to say “oh you think you are so perfect with no fault” he also said I was controlling. Him cheating without remorse and accountability was the last straw and is what has set me on this journey to my self discovery. Him on the other hand is already in a relationship with the other lady he cheated on me with. I have gone full no contact. I’ve blocked him completely. Phone, text email. One day at a time I’m healing. I still think about him everyday but I’m 100% sure I don’t want him in my life as a friend nor a lover. No more.

  126. Confused

    This is where I get confused….I am a BIG empath. With that said, my guy from the beginning told me that he had multiple women and that did not want to be my “center.” Of course, after sleeping together multiple times, I thought I was “the one” and that he would change. I also paid for a trip for the two of us. After we returned, he said he felt guilty, and I didn’t hear from him for a month. I found out later it’s because he was with another woman. But then he returned to me. I bought him many, many gifts. He would tell me that it made him uncomfortable…but I continued to shower him with gifts. I was always a secret…we didn’t go out in public unless it was out of town. And he would sleep with another woman, and after she left his house, he would call me to come over. Calls and text to visit him were always after 9:00 at night. There is so much more to this story. But here is my question… it really his fault that I put up with his disrespect and manipulation when he was trying to tell me from the very beginning who he really was? BTW…I have been no contact for 23 days, but it has been very difficult.

    1. Kim Saeed


      You are onto something when you ask if it’s his fault that you put up with his behaviors. The answer is…we do have a certain amount of accountability when we realize they are abusive and won’t change, yet we choose to stay in the relationship.

      I’m glad you’ve gone No Contact, and hope it’s complete and full NC where he cannot contact you at all if the fancy hits him.

      Even though he told you from the start that he didn’t want to be the center of attention for you, I must wonder if he led you on in some way, as it seems in your comment. Regardless, I’m sure you know that you deserve much better than what you received from him. Stick it out. It usually takes 4-8 weeks for their hypnotic effect to start wearing off…

  127. Still told I am too sensitive as Carrie was. Will it stop me being an empath? No. But my awareness after spending the greater years of my life on this orb in a marriage with an addicted narcissist, I know one when I see one now. No more. If there is no room for me in a relationship, that is not a relationship but a monologue I can’t enable. Ex is still the same. Recently helped him in a tough spot – arm broken and rebuild of his wrist so I cooked, cleaned, etc even though I am not well myself and he knows it – two days later he told me to Fuck Off. Imagine. At least I know I did the right thing for my conscience and I can rest with that just fine.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Aurora, I am sorry to hear about how he treated you, though I’m not surprised.

      Wishing you the best…

  128. gina1

    I have always been the open heart person sobbing from many of life’s injustices. Watching the news, movies, and the real life drama and cruelty from my current husband and previous husband. I walked down the same road twice being the giver or over giving. I read so much about being a co-dependent or being raised by a Narcissist parent, but yet do I hear about being the child of empaths. I was raised in this light of the past which I feel led me down the path to become a target. Doesn’t everyone think like us? How could they be so cruel? Some may say we are naïve but in my case I was raised in a world of Kumba Ya.

    A final twist is a known chemical imbalance of the hormone prolactin. I have always wondered if there was any connection because a movie like the Green Mile would require a box of tissues regardless of how many times I have watched it.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Gina, I can relate. Over the past couple of years, I’ve stopped watching the news, violent movies, and any documentaries that showcase humanitarian horrors. I had to. It used to take sometimes days for me to recover from watching them until I learned to stop triggering myself. Our subconscious cannot tell the difference between real or imagined events. That’s also why we get all warm and fuzzy when we watch romantic comedies.

      It is sometimes said that Empaths are naive, but I think it’s more that our nature doesn’t want to recognize the bad in people. I used to be labeled as naive, but now that I’ve embraced my Empathetic nature, I consciously try to observe people’s behaviors to see if their actions match their words. As you said, we assume everyone is like us…kind-hearted and giving, and that gets us into trouble sometimes. But that doesn’t make us “wrong”.

      I am sorry that you believe being a child of Empaths may have led you to being a target of Narcissists. I think what happens is that when we get into a relationship with an emotional abuser, we develop co-dependent behaviors as a defense mechanism. Back when our parents had us and raised us, no one really knew that Narcissists existed. Sure, there may have been the occasional story about a sociopathic murderer, but no one knew that psychological killers existed. Currently, they are popping up over the globe like a pandemic.

      We are collectively in a period of enlightenment, so the fact that you may be an Empath means you can have a beautiful life of teaching and healing if you can learn to set healthy boundaries and ground yourself. It takes work, but it’s so worth it 🙂

  129. Kathryn

    All of this is true. I didn’t realize I was an empath til I finally got out. Almost seven years of hell.

    1. Kim Saeed

      That’s what usually happens. So, there’s actually a gift in the curse, though it doesn’t feel that way at first.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  130. Fantastic post! My goodness, I sure wish I had this kind of information when I was younger. It would’ve saved me decades of pain.

    Thank you for sharing such important, healing truth…blessings to you.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      I used to wish I’d known sooner, too. But then I realized I wouldn’t have grown like I have over the past couple of years. It’s all a part of our journey…
      I’m glad you enjoyed my article and consider it to be healing. If you need any tips on overcoming abuse, guided meditation and aromatherapy using quality essential oils works wonders…it sounds cliche, but they really do work 🙂

  131. Mary Lee Morgan

    Sigh. I’ve identified as an INFJ for a very long time, but the label of “empath” sounded so “woo-woo-woo-woo” that I shied away from it–at the same time I have been internally attracted to it. I am realizing that it is nothing like that at all, it’s just someone with high empathic qualities or abilities. And no one else “out there” has the right to tell me that such abilities are less than.

    Still in the process of ending my nearly-fifty-year marriage to a narcissist, I certainly reached the point of complete and utter exhaustion. One of the ways that he discounts me as a human being–and he is so wrapped up in himself that he literally does not know he is doing this–is to “suck up” my feelings and broadcast them back to me as his own. So, of course, he is the one who is so tired, so weary. What I am, apparently, is irrelevant. I find I need to regularly remind him of my own exhaustion.

    I feel like the soul crises forcing me into awakening has been going on for years already, albeit slowly in some areas. Before I realized what a narcissist is, that they cannot/will not change, and cannot be helped, I did not see an exception to working at and achieving a lifetime marriage for the sake of family. Now I do, forced by his lifetime of serial adultery–which he continued even while improving his outside façade. Having to accept that the façade is not the real him, that there is no authentic self there for me to have a relationship with, that the entire effort has been futile–this is the battle I had to win inside myself. Big fights between my head, my heart, and my gut. The only solidifying answer, in the end, is to get out.

    What resonated the most with me, Kim, is the idea of learning how to responsibly use the gifts. I have felt less than for so long that my first thing will be to fully accept the gifts. But my first task, for as long as that takes, is to get out.

    1. Mary, I was with my N for 38 years and it broke my heart for the marriage to end because I was looking forward to my 50th anniversary. But then I was still confused and gaslighted by my ex to realize the truth. After he left me for a much, much younger woman I was so adrift for years until I found who I really was. It is a tough road but then anything worthwhile isn’t easy. I am starting to enjoy my life now; the focus has changed to me now. Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself that I am first now. Good luck to you with finding yourself.

      1. Kim Saeed

        KL, it must have been hurtful for your husband to leave you for someone who was “younger”, but you probably know by now that in his mind, it only equaled “fresh supply”.

        I’m glad you have turned the focus onto yourself because only through doing so can we really heal. It’s the only thing that can lead us to the path of true happiness, and allows us to fully love other people, too 🙂

    2. Kathy

      Mary Lee, I empathize(there we go again 🙂 and sympathize with you. You have had a very long go with a narcissist.. Mine wasn’t so long. When you say he was changing his outside façade, do you mean he was trying to change some of his behaviors or just faking change for awhile.. only to revert back?

    3. Kim Saeed

      Mary Lee, I was reluctant to embrace that I was an Empath, too, in the beginning. I think because, as you said, it seemed a little strange, but the more I learned about it, the more I realized it was me to a “T”. Then, I discovered my reluctance was due to what other people might think. At this point, I am free from the opinion of others…

      Wow. Your situation is so similar to mine. My Ex did the whole act of collecting my emotions and feelings to create his own personal dilemmas. You articulated that very well. I’m sorry you’ve had to experience it, though. I know how frustrating that can be when it’s done repeatedly. It’s their way of invalidating us, even if they aren’t aware they are doing it.

      I didn’t know about Narcissists, either, until I’d left my own abusive spouse. I knew he was toxic and verbally abusive, but I had no idea everything he did and said had an underlying blueprint. Now it’s all very clear, even down to my reactions to what he did.

      You may feel that you’ve wasted your time and years with him, but once you’re out and can discover and love yourself, you will begin to know true peace. There’s no other feeling like it…just remember to do some guided meditations and get into aromatherapy. The guided meditations will help to heal your subconscious, and the aromatherapy using quality essential oils will help clear out the negative energy that is stored in your cells.

      Wishing you the best while you struggle to leave…

  132. daveyone1

    Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

  133. Kathy

    Kim, Can a INFP be sort of an empath? I had the need to want to “fix” the narcissist, but I didn’t stay so long as to “annihilate” myself. I fought back at times, even though I was in love and knew that “fighting back” would hurt my chances with him. The P in INFP is for perception I believe..

    1. Kim Saeed

      Kathy, yes…your personality type could definitely be an Empath or even HSP, maybe both.

      You may want to research “INFP Empath” and “INFP Highly Sensitive” and spend some time seeing how those concepts relate to you and your life. You might discover some really neat stuff about yourself 🙂

  134. Carrie Reimer

    As a child I was always told I was too sensitive, too emotional, it was always a bad thing to have feelings especially if they were contrary to my father’s. My father certainly had N traits (nothing as bad as JC but great training for someone like JC) consequently my much younger brother grew up believing I was “unstable”. In my adulthood I went to counseling and was told I was normal, that my responses were warranted and I wasn’t nuts. Shortly there after I stopped talking to my father completely because I could see it was so unhealthy for me. It was a huge revelation and such a weight off of me to not have to deal with him. When I told my brother I had decided to remove our dad from my life he said, “Well you know sis, you always have been a bit of a flake.” He continues with this opinion of me and I think it would be really hard for him to view me as anything else after growing up with it. When I had my first heart attack I got a call from my dad and we talked for a few minutes but it was the first time in over 20 years and I have had very short contact with him in FB since but I have no desire to see him or have him back in my life.
    That was one of the reasons my family and I was so surprised I couldn’t walk away from JC. I knew what he was doing, I felt like I did as a kid and even told him that he made me feel like I was 6 yrs old talking to my dad. His reply was, “You think your dad was bad, you haven’t seen anything yet. I am 10 times worse than you father.”
    I still did not know what it was about me, JC calling me too sensitive was normal to me. Over the years and especially with JC I got very good at analyzing what I was feeling and expressing it in a calm and rational way and not emotional and reactive. I now will remove myself from a situation and analyze what I am feeling and why so I can express my feelings without later second guessing myself . doing that has been a big help for me because I don’t suffer the guilt I used to.
    It wasn’t until about 6 months ago that I found an article on empaths and narcissists and did a post about it that the light bulb went on and I had the epiphany. It was a real awakening for me and for the first time in my life I wasn’t ashamed of being sensitive. For the first time I realized there was nothing “wrong”: with me.
    I feel so much more in control of my life and not near so vulnerable, yet I am the same person, with the same feelings and experiences just now I am validated. When a person feels wrong for their feelings it makes the feelings more intense and the situation more explosive whereas if you acknowledge your feelings as being real and justified it is easier to express them calmly and constructively, not be defensive. And it makes it easier to walk away from a situation where your feelings are not being considered, I no longer have the need to defend my right to my feelings and boundaries. Sorry that got really long. (as per usual for me haha)
    Thanks for the great post Kim, once again! you hit the nail on the head.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thanks for sharing that, Carrie. I was always told I’m too sensitive, too. I believed it for a long time and thru different partners. Now, like you, I embrace it.

      Have you ever heard of Jenna Forrest? She has a great sight for Empaths/the Highly Sensitive. In my opinion, her content is life-changing…

  135. Kim,

    You are amazing!!!!!! I am still recovering still after 2 years! It has been unbelievable what I have had to come to terms with regarding myself. I finally have it figured out but good lord it’s been an unreal journey! I had never even heard the word narsassist before! I always knew in my heart I cared too much, loved maybe too hard but never ever in my life did I ever think these types of people even existed! I was with him for 7 years…….7 long years. He was different for me than my past relationships……WAY differant. I had never met anyone like him….. He was a dream come true for me…… Educated now…… Love bombed me BIGTIME. He Saw a successful independent financially stable girl and pursued me like a hungry starved snake looking back….. He was relentless to say the least. He had 4 kids…… I know stupid me! I tried for 7 years to give those kids some kind of stability and normalcy….. Didn’t work….. I tried for 7 Years to calm him down…… I tried to give him the world…….my point to all this is I have learned….. It hit me like a brick I get it now…….. I have learned this mostly from being with a psycopath……. I’ve learned from being with evil. I see it so clearly now. I like you want to educate the world on spotting and recovery from these types of people! It is absolutely the worst pain a person can go through…….it is debilitating literally. When he up and threw me away like a piece of trash for his high school tatooed girlfriend at the same time my best friend was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer, I put my father in a nursing home, my mother gets colon cancer and I lose both my pets that were like my children to add to all this…… It’s been a very very hard time for me to say the least. My whole world that meant everything to me fell apart and it was unbearable pain. I went through it not really able to tell anyone either. I was always looked upon as this smart successful strong woman. I didn’t let anybody know he was what he was. I didn’t tell anyone about the violent outbursts….. The many times he kicked me out of the car….. The drinks thrown in my face…..when he broke his own sons jaw…… Btw he said he did that for me?!!!!!! Really?!!!!!!! How stupid was I?!!!!!!!!!!! OMG I’m suppose to be this smart successful woman that has it all?!!!! Wow…… This has been such an awakening for me because I will NEVER ever let this happen to me AGAIN ever!!!!!!!! These people are so damn masters of manipulation!!!!!!! It’s so scarey! I get it now, I’ve learned…… I never have responded to one thing from him…….. I still want to destroy him but it’s not worth it he will get what’s coming to him I do believe that and I really have no one to blame but myself because I had no respect or healthy boundaries with him…… I settled…… He was gorgeous, unreal in bed all those wonderful little qualities he convinced me to believe….. I lost myself in him, with him like never before, I was hypnotized with him. I pray every single day to god and I say please forgive me lord, I know we are suppose to forgive to move forward….. I cannot and will never forgive someone so evil I just cannot. I pray for myself I pray for others who have had to go through such traumatizing pain to just be able to breathe again from such shock and I pray that he lives a horrible horrible death and rest of his life and all the other people if you can actually call them people that do this to kind good souls. It’s just pathetic! I wish we could brand them so people get a heads up to who they really are.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Gosh, what a horrible experience. I’m sorry you didn’t have support while you were going through all those challenges…and the fact he broke his son’s jaw? Was he ever investigated for that?

      I used to be angry like you. And I’ve seen similar evil while standing at the precipice of insanity. Thankfully, I got through it…

      Have you taken any measures to heal yourself? There are some things you can do to speed up recovery so you can feel more at peace. Let me know if you’d like some tips 🙂

      1. Hi kim and thank you so much again for doing what you do…… There is much need for you – you are a great person to do what you do for everyone. He was never held accountable for breaking his sons jaw…… He had 3 other kids and told them and their mother yelling at the top of his lungs btw….. If he was reported he would lose his job and all child support would stop. That incident was just one of many of his violent outbursts. I get literally embarrassed and find myself shaking my head looking back to the whole relationship and yes it was really really traumatizing to me when he left because I hid it from everyone…… Nobody knew. My parents could see it once in awhile when he had outbursts when we would not have a particular news station on and he’d storm out yelling that’s what’s wrong with our country and we were f’ing liberals! He was a tea partyier…… Go figure. Don’t know if I should say that but he was very very strong headed on that subject…… Very strong. I had no support I was ashamed and as I have educated myself on this disorder I feel probably allot of people do hide it. That is why we need people like yourself. There is not enough education on recovering and education on these types of monsters. Plus to add to it when you (us women )suffer from codependency and having unhealthy boundaries we are not able to recognize this and maybe we do but chose to not do anything about it. Again they are such masters at doing what they do.

        I to this day don’t really have anybody to talk to about this, my friends are all married to successful normal partners they get it but they don’t if that makes any sence. Until you have gone thru something like this no one can really understand why I just don’t snap out of it. I’m allot better but I still find myself sad, sad I wasted 7 years of my life with such a prick. Sad that I’m 53 and have to start all over. Ugh. I am a Vice President of a company out of Los Angeles and can’t even get my mojo back from all of this….. I seriously feel my whole soul is just lost and yes it’s been 2 years…… Not good I know. I’m still able to do a great act but it’s really getting old. I just want to feel good again that’s all. I know it’s good he’s gone I get that but why do I still feel so darn sad? I’d love you to post again where we can send money to you to help support what you are doing. I’ve read your stuff for the past 2 years but was literally in so much pain I couldn’t even write on these things. Thank you again kim and god bless you for what you do for everyone on this blog. If you have any tricks in the bag for me to help send them my way!!!!!!! Btw I was going to see a therapist but I’ve read also where they don’t even know how to deal with this!!!!!!! Good lord!

        1. Kim Saeed


          I know what you mean about not being able to help people comprehend what happens in the abusive relationship. Towards the end, I’d finally stopped talking to my friends and family about it because I started sounding like a broken record even to myself.

          I saw several therapists, too, but never got any relief from the suffering. I pretty much took things into my own hands. Over the course of 2.5 years, I’ve tried different methods of healing, and this is what has been successful for me:

          1) I occasionally read books by Louis Hay and Eckhart Tolle. They are superb teachers.

          2) I started doing inner child healing. I learned that my codependent behaviors began as a defense mechanism because I felt that the only way I could gain someone’s love was by what I did for them, plus I didn’t feel loved as a young child.

          3) I do guided meditations when I go to bed. I literally have my Nook at my bedside. I head over to YouTube, type in “guided meditation for healing” or whatever issue you want to focus on, put on the headphones, lie back and let the meditation do its magic. Over a period of time, they help heal our subconscious, even if we fall asleep. ( I have some here on the site, too).

          4) I use essential oils for aromatherapy, as well as application. Real oils, not the synthetic ones such as you might find at Wal-Mart. I use Young Living, The Essential Oil Company, and Nature’s Alchemy, to name a few. I have a diffuser that I put oils into every day. I also apply Frankincense to the top of my crown when I have it. (It’s kind of expensive). I also sometimes just put a few drops in my hand, swirl it around a few times with my finger, and inhale directly. (Smell reaches a part of our brain that isnt’ accessible thru reading/hearing. Oils can literally heal our cells and our DNA, as well as help with emotional clearing if used consistently).

          4) When budget allows, I get harp healing done.

          5) I have a lady that just started doing readings for me. It’s an amazing experience.

          Those are the main things. I sometimes do gratitude affirmations and try to focus on the present moment.

          It takes a lot of consistency, but is worth it in the end…

          Oh, if you feel inclined to make a donation as you mentioned, I am currently running a donation drive. The link is in today’s post. No pressure, though…helping other people is my calling. This is my first, and hopefully only, donation drive.

          Thank you for following my blog. The outreach I’ve received shows that I am currently on the right path, so thank you so much for sharing how my site has helped you. Hugs.

  136. Tiffany

    My friend sharred this article with me and its shocking to say the very least. I already know my husbands a narcissist, but realizing who I am. I bend over backwards to help him daily, whether it be just picking out his clothes for him, because God knows I have even went as far as labeling his dresser drawers and he still won’t get his own clothes, but he seems to just never be happy with me. He is constantly degrading me and he purposely hurts my feelings but I have never really left because he can’t work and can’t afford to live without me. The one and only time I left him he was homeless and it made me sad so here I am right back where I started. Finally I have begun to realize that I am not accountable for him and if he can’t appreciate and respect me then I can’t be here. I have 2 boys now and if they see this they will never grow up to be real men. I have finally after 11 years started seperating from him and I am also learning this isn’t as easy as it should be.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Tiffany, I know how you feel. I’ve been there.

      You are right. It’s not your job to “fix” him. He has his own lessons to learn. If he is disabled or something, you can point him to social services and then focus on you and your boys. You are very insightful to realize that your husband’s way of life isn’t a good example for your sons. Children do learn what they live.

      I know it’s hard and it will be a struggle to detach. But once you are out, you and your boys will experience joy that you didn’t know was possible. Wishing you all the best…

  137. Pingback: Holy Week, Epiphanies and Me | A Victims Journal

  138. Beth

    This is exactly how I figured out I was an empath. I had been single for quite some years and totally content. Along came a man and we got to be friends, then it turned into a full blown relationship. We met in March and by May he was asking me to marry him. I should have seen it, but did not. This relationship went on for a while, even though I knew deep down it was not right. Long story short, it all fell apart with a lot of tears and heartache, but… that soul crisis and what I went through for the next year allowed me to see who I really am. I could never figure out why I could not be in huge crowds with really loud music, lots of chaos for more than an hour without shutting down. Why I could date someone and feel when things were wrong with them even though I was not near them nor had they told me anything.
    This explains so much. I never thought of the polar opposites attracting aspect of it. I have gone through two relationships with narcissists (of varying degrees). They pursued me to no end. This explains why I was drawn to them even though they were not men I would be attracted to for other attributes.
    Thank you again for this post!

    1. Beth

      I had to add to this that I tried for the better part of 20 years to toughen myself up, not be so sensitive. Well, it worked, at least on the outside. But when the outside does not truly reflect who you are on the inside, you burn lots of precious energy and do not shine. I ignored it when I have had others plainly point it out to me. It did not toughen me up or make me an extrovert… it just made me confused! Now I fully embrace the fact I am an empath. I recognize and sort when I have feelings wash over me to discern “are these mine or someone else’s”. If they are someone else’s I label them and deal with it accordingly. It is not always easy, just takes time.

  139. Anonymous

    Thank you for this piece of writing it has helped me immensly. I am an empath who over the last 5 or more years has ‘woken’ to my soul state and the soul states of the last 3 long term relationships I have been in. Oh and that of my Mother.
    I am currently extricating myself from a long term relationship with a narcissist and the sad thing is we have a child. The dysfunction has affected our child. However I am now super aware and working on balancing my child’s experiences. That said extrication from this relationship is slow tough and highly unpredictable.I am tired too. But now that I am aware I can look to a time ahead where I can rebuild myself.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Wow, it must be difficult to still be inside of a toxic relationship while awakening to your true self. I didn’t experience my awakening until afterwards…

      I truly hope you will be able to get out of the relationship as quickly as possible because until then, you will likely continue to experience some degree of emotional burnout.

      Do you have a Domestic Violence Center in your area? The one here offers transitional housing to abused partners…would be worth checking into. (They know that emotional abuse is the same, and sometimes worse, than physical abuse).

  140. Michelle

    WOW! Another amazingly well written article! Hats off to you Kim on this one! It was difficult to read with tears clouding up my vision! Couldn’t have been published at no better time than today, because you have helped me to recognize who I am after a lifetime of being a Em-path and relationships with multiple Narcissists. More profounding is God’s perfect timing works thru your gift of wisdom to revelate to me my own gift. I can know appreciate and find acceptance maybe even be grateful for the pain I endured during my abusive, one sided relationship with my Narc!! Thank you Jesus and thank you Kim! God Bless all Empaths with His strength and courage to use our gifts to help heal those in need of unconditional love! And may every Narc seek out God for healing the world has no cure for!!

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you, Michelle. I’m so happy to know my article was helpful to you and that you are growing into your true self.

      Love this, “Thank you Jesus and thank you Kim! God Bless all Empaths with His strength and courage to use our gifts to help heal those in need of unconditional love! And may every Narc seek out God for healing the world has no cure for!” 🙂

  141. I find it fascinating that INFJ’s seem to find each other…isn’t it only like 1% of the population? I always thought of myself as more of Deanna Troy from Star Trek. I bet she was a narcissist magnet too! Phoebe was pretty great too…how about Ghost Whisperer? This post makes so much sense! Thanks Kim…AoA

  142. Yes! And I had no idea. I always thought that I was just *too* sensitive. I took one of those nifty quiz thingies you posted a while back, it said that I’m INFJ. It makes sense that I’ve had three narc/sociopaths in my life, not knowing what they were, or what I am. One family member, and two love relationships. (Love on my end anyhow.)

    1. Kim Saeed

      Constance, it’s really bizarre, isn’t it? I’ve attracted controlling types into my life, too…I’m so glad to finally know what the heck is going on so I don’t do that again!

      It’s no coincidence that with the growing trend of Narcissism, there are more people discovering they are Empaths. I think it’s all part of a grand plan 🙂

  143. bamboozled1

    more about how to responsibly use those gifts please… and how to get it under control!

    i cant read about it lol. i still think of phoebe from charmed and laugh. the dictionary calls it science fiction *le sigh*… but at least ive finally recognised it! it WAS me, but it WASNT… yay.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Bamboozled…it does seem a little science fiction-y at first…but then, somewhere in our growth process, it all starts to makes perfect sense.

      I remember the first time I discovered the term “Empath” and how all the traits described me perfectly…then, I learned my purpose here, and how that ties into being an Empath…Once I embraced that, I felt peace.

      I will certainly post some stuff in the near future about creating emotional boundaries and staying grounded 🙂

  144. I literally had shivers when I read this post. I’m discovering that I can really put things where they really need to be in my mind if I have a name for it… duh 🙄 Simply, forks in the drawer, glasses in the cupboard, Narcissists in the……..
    Thank you, thank you.
    I am discovering I cannot manage my tendencies to care for everything else to the detriment of myself. :/
    But, at least I know what to call me.

    1. It is cool to know what to call ourselves! Hi, I am INFJ…a highly sensitive person, and empath. I use to try to fix the world…now I just stand in one spot and shine!

      1. Hi, I am the same I suppose.
        I feel more crazy at times than empathic. I worry sick over the things I cannot fix.
        I’ll be glad when I can stand in one spot and shine.

    2. Kim Saeed

      I can relate, Teela. Once we discover that we are, in fact, an Empath, the next step is to create emotional boundaries to prevent physical and emotional burnout, because the world is full of negative energies…

      Odd, that one person can do that to us single-handedly…

    3. idiotwriter

      Teela – so glad to see you here at Kims site! 😀 😀 –

  145. I knew what I was (INFJ) but always fought against it. I wanted to be an extrovert. I didn’t want to be a teacher. I didn’t want to be labeled as emotional, so I fought against my emotions. I denied my own identity, which put me in a vulnerable place of malleability. Now, I embrace that shit. Hehe!

    1. Kim Saeed

      You are hilarious! I now embrace that sh*t, too 🙂 Especially after learning my true self over the last couple of years. And I’ve learned that other people are always going to label…it must get awfully boring for them to drink that Haterade every day of their lives…

      I think you are mah-velous, dahling 🙂

  146. great post Kim,
    my mothers an empath… i just read her your post and she loved it.. it explained a lot with certain things i’ve wondered through out the years of her taking the abuse from such people…
    Thank you…

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thanks for sharing that, TeddyLee 🙂 I hope she can take something from the post in order to stop the repeating patterns of taking abusive partners, as I did before…

      You have a lot of insight to share the post with your mom. Maybe you just changed her life 🙂

  147. Sunshine

    wow…who knew… You are so spot on in this post it’s scary…in a nice way though… 😉

      1. Kim

        I’m just discovering my daughter is a Narcissist, and I, of course, am the Empath. INFP. My daughter is most likely an ISTJ. I’ve run the gamut from blaming myself to my ex-husband and have the strong urge to “fix” it right now though it seems quite hopeless. She’s 31, pregnant with her first child and while not even 18 weeks, I’ve already been banned. Had I not figured this out a couple of weeks ago (I think her hormones are possibly bringing this to the forefront), I would have been utterly devastated. I just view my little girl now as having a broken psyche and there’s nothing I can do about it. What’s the solution?

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