The Matrix of Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” ~ Morpheus, The Matrix

If you’ve seen the movie The Matrix, you’re probably aware of the concepts of the red pill and its opposite, the blue pill.  According to Wikipedia, they are popular culture symbols representing the choice between embracing the sometimes painful truth of reality (red pill) and the blissful ignorance of illusion (blue pill).

The concept behind The Matrix has been around for centuries.  In fact, the film was partly inspired by Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. 

Read:  Vanilla Sky – Unreality with the Narcissist

If you’re in a relationship with a narcissist, you may have learned by now that all of their pledges of love and promises of change are simply simulations.  And, in order to continue on the path to the fake future the narcissist promises, you may be taking the blue pill every day in order to make their betrayals seem less traumatic.

“The Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.” – Morpheus

The Blue Pill

The blue pill helps you tolerate the lies around their infidelities.  The blue pill aids in rationalizing – in your favor – the many clues that they aren’t devoted to you or the relationship. 

The emotional pain that ensues from narcissistic abuse is all-consuming.  In many ways, it is more damaging than the abuse itself because by the time one has discovered their partner is a narcissist, they’ve already internalized the lies, the condemnation, and the excruciating treacheries.

Your family and friends who’ve never experienced this have no idea why it seems to take you so long to get over it and move on.

“Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.” – Morpheus

The grief from narcissistic abuse is complex and arduous to overcome. It is multi-layered and often easier to ignore than to cope with.  The blue pill helps with the recurrent, cruel events that create PTSD triggers.  This happens when the subconscious mind cannot process the frequency and viciousness of the emotional trauma that occurs when you discover the person you’ve shared your life with, have believed in, and have forgiven numerous times has absolutely no intention of changing…and in fact, has been taking you for a fool.

Taking the blue pill means less pain. 

However, you know something is wrong…dreadfully wrong.  You begin Googling why your partner lies all the time.  Why they break up with you repeatedly, only to insert themselves back into your life.  Why they disappear for days or weeks when you only tried to discuss the relationship.  Why they’re so verbally abusive. 

Then, you come across the term “narcissist”.

“What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.” – Morpheus

The Red Pill

In The Matrix, Neo takes the red pill and awakens in the real world.  He is forcibly ejected from the chamber in which he has been lying unconscious, unaware that he has been nothing more than a life force – a source of food for a computer brain created to make people submissive. 

The false reality of The Matrix was designed to keep humans from knowing they were being used. The people just carried on with their lives, oblivious to the fact that an abusive entity like the computer brain even existed.

Just like Neo, at some point in your journey through narcissistic abuse, you take the first red pill.  You become aware of the scope and magnitude of narcissistic abuse.

The first red pill comes with a soul-shattering force which makes it hard to breath. You wish you could take the “blue pill” again and erase this new knowledge that you’ve been burdened with.  But, just like in the movie, once you’ve taken the red pill, the choice is irrevocable.

You discover that you were nothing but a source of supply to the narcissist.  Everything they said and did was a campaign designed to keep you ignorant to the truth.  But now, you are no longer living in the narcissist’s mirage.  You’ve awakened to reality.

Life After the Red Pill

Life after discovering your partner is likely a narcissist is difficult to navigate.  You’ll often fall back into behaviors you engaged in while under the influence of the narcissist’s matrix.  You’ll want to keep dosing yourself with the blue pill.  You’ll likely give in to the many hoovering attempts before you realize it’s nothing more than a cycle – a pattern of deceiving you in order to bring you back into their false world. 

They do this because they need your life force.

You may ignore the organic transition from having been their main source of supply to becoming their fall back.  You’ll go from being their partner, fiancé, or spouse to being someone they sleep with while asking you to keep it hidden from their new partner.  They’ll make it seem normal, as if they are only trying to let their new partner down easily because they’ve fallen so deeply in love with the narcissist, that to break it off abruptly would put their new target in the loony bin. 

This is so they can keep both of you in the mix and set you up for triangulation. 

Knowing about the narcissist’s matrix means you now have to live the truth of narcissism. It means that you are aware they exist and not just a foreign personality you read about.

You’ll read reams of articles on narcissism and watch hours of video looking for a loophole that indicates your partner might be different.  That somehow your relationship is unique and there’s a chance for salvation yet.  That in spite of your partner meeting all the criteria of being a narcissist, maybe they’re just a wounded soul who needs your undying love.

This is what we all think.  

When you finally leave, you’ll miss the matrix.  You’ll try everything in your power to go back to it, but it can’t be undone.  You’ll toggle between the brainwashing you experienced in the narcissist’s matrix and new, empowering elements of living in your awakened state. 

At some point, however, you’ll realize the necessity of staying in your new reality.  You’ll begin to comprehend that exiting the narcissist’s matrix is a matter of survival.  And only through living in reality will you come to discover that you do have power over your life, after all. 

“I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.” – Morpheus

Copyright 2016.  Kim Saeed and Let Me Reach
Want to leave the matrix of narcissistic abuse, but need help?  Enroll in The Essential No Contact Bootcamp.  

Check out the course here or click on the image below!


  1. Mary

    Corporate America and Big Pharma as fueled by the world of IT.

  2. Teresa Jane Sykes

    Brilliant anology, so true. Thank you so much Kim.

  3. Shirley Akpelu

    Excellent parallel between Matrix and narcissism. Spot on Kim! Keep up the great work. We need to hear the truth no matter how painful and unlike the narc, we (the targets or empaths) can change. This is great news!

  4. MJBB

    Amazing and entertaining piece of writing Kim!
    And SPOT ON! If anyone somehow missed seeing that movie- see it and then read Kim’s article- ooo-eee-ooo !!!!

  5. Anna Nim

    I have a picture of the red/blue pill choice on my FB with a few other ‘hint’ posts as crumbs for the new victims that may come after me…if they every want to contact meit might make it easier. I won’t contact them, because mine is SO VERY good and covert that they are lost..but if they ever want to escape..

    That being said. Yes, the red or the blue pill. I use this to remind myself of what ‘IS”. The truth that IS. Do you want the lie or the truth? And, always, always..the sometimes painful, but REAL truth.

    I hate that mine is in my head everyday like background music. I hate that she ‘won’ my BFF and my lifelong hobby job-it is NOT an exaggeration that she supplanted me in my life. Separated me from my people and then took my place. So insidious. I think she needs to be on a deserted island of cats, so she can do no harm :).

    Still, if any of Kim’s writing ring a bell…Run, run and go No Contact. Thru is the only way OUT.

  6. Renega

    That seems like a weird reversal, because for me the Narc was the RED pill – the illustration of how deep the rabbit hole goes, what evil really looks like, and how horrible people and life can be. I had never encountered anyone like him before and it never occurred to me that someone so devoid of basic human emotions could fake them for such extended periods of time. I know I will never get my old life or self back; I’ve seen too much, and I know how pointless and awful this planet is now.

    I, at least, was very naive, even in my early thirties. I had no history of trauma, parents that had been married since they were in college, and a loving and lovely extended family. I had a good job, a strong spiritual practice, and a life I was grateful for.

    Now I have an extended sentence on a hellish planet with trauma I will never fully heal from.

    The ripping apart of reality is the red pill. I’d give anything to get the blue ones back, and still think there was anything worth building. Now I know we only build to give others the pleasure of destroying.

    1. Colette Ann

      I hear you. Like that old Toby Keith song, I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.. I have mostly completed grieving the fairytale I thought I had, the life I thought I was going to have. I’m mostly done grieving the knowledge that what I thought was magical true love with the narc not only was not real, but I’ll never find with anybody else. In fact, how depressing it is to realize if you find something like that you should run! I’ve mostly come to terms with the idea that I won’t be who I was before I met my Narc. It sucks but it’s true. It is a permanent change, not a life sentence. Now, I am grieving the life I had before, the one I tossed for my narc. I am dating, but I don’t trust very well. If it seems wonderful I back off. Will get better. I promise.

  7. lauralee

    I needed this, its been a little over a year since the divorce was final…due to where I landed and finances, he got my my beloved Jack Russell that I bought when I was married to the last narcissist…today I had a melt down while driving in the country…it is fall here in NY, vivid colors, gorgeous warm day…the kind of day Jack and I would go for long walks and sit in the sun together and just chill, my dog and I..content and at peace…I lamented leaving, screamed at God “YYYYY!!! My life has really taken a sever nose dive and I cannot seem to get it together…still….even though I have a much education and insight, I still am so very broken…my health has suffered severely, I am on disability due to CPTSD and back issues…I found myself missing him and wishing it could be different, even thought of reaching out…then, it was as if my Creator started whispering….”remember when…this and remember when that” and I started to come back to the reality of all the betrayal, gaslighting, manipulations, head games, on and on insanity…at one time I was a substance abuse counselor, I do not know if I will ever be able to return, or even if I want to…I am in my mid 50’s and I feel used up…thanks for the reminder of what it was like and that I am not alone…as for the election horse dung…I cannot even tolerate being in the same room when its on…I did not understand y it disturbed me so much…but, now I get it….shalom to all….

    1. Anna Nim

      I am sorry. Loss of all is horrible. I lost so very, very much too. We all do. Thank God we at least know WHAT we were with and now will never, ever be with someone like that again. Small comfort I know.. We can’t get the time back or undue the damage it is true. I do not have an easy answer. I battle it everyday. I wish it could be different and it sucks that it can not..

      I wonder if you can offer to take the dog ‘off his hands’ (cause if he thinks you want it, he will never give it back) and get him back. If not, I hope he loves your pup as much as you did.

      And yes, Trump is a nauseating narcissist. My narc is now with a LBGTQ substance counselor and I think, oh, are in a world of hurt.

      I can not fix any of this. I do not that it will get better a tiny, tiny bit of the time. You feel used up, so do I (46), but then I think how much MORE used up I will be at 75…I am working on getting mine out of my head and accepting that I can not even go back to what I had before, only build on this mess and move forward. It sucks. I know. I feel for you.

    2. Rosie

      I know exactly how you feel, I am 57 and feel like I am worn out, drained, and absolutely exhausted. Its been 18 months no contact on my part, I can’t believe how long it takes to get over all of this. I don’t want to ever see his smug face again, I think it’s the fact that I was replaced in 2 days, and they are still together, almost 2 years now. I feel like my chances to find true love are quickly getting away from me.

      1. Lori

        Rosie, I agree. I’m 56 yrs old and cannot believe how long it is taking me to understand the reality of the situation. It’s been a year since we broke up. I date occasionally here and there (and have the occasional FB to keep the lady parts in working order) but I think about that f***-ing ex Narc of mine 24/7… and he’s already moved in with someone about 8 months after we broke up. It appears he’s living just fine, being in new love and created a new life, travelling with her all the places we talked about, etc. … and I am struggling to just understand it all, and dating a little but not willing to give myself to these new men (who care for me… not the FB guys) because I don’t think they measure up to the narc – which I DO realize is total shit for my way of thinking. I’m still trying to just figure it all out. Why? How? and so on it goes… But this forum has been very helpful………… thank you Kim for the work you do ~

        1. Kim Saeed

          Hi Lori,

          Thank you for your kind praise. I’m sorry for what seems to be a lonely time for you.

          I have discovered that the best thing we can do for ourselves during our recovery is to rebuild our inner identity before getting back into the dating scene. It does feel lonely for a while, that is, until we learn to enjoy our own company. Many of us, myself included, have had to learn this the hard way. If we haven’t healed enough and built up a strong sense of self, we often enter into another toxic relationship. Plus, it sounds like you still think about your ex, so the trauma bond hasn’t healed fully.

          If you’re interested, you may want to check out my program for rebuilding your inner identity. It’s received rave reviews. But whether or not you decide to join, it would really be good for you to work on healing more and building a strong sense of self. Then, you would create space for true and genuine connections.



    3. Lori

      Lauralee, thank you for your comment and opening your heart. I can relate and am, not happy, but content to know that I’m not alone when I read your post. Love to you…. and to me… as we heal from this crazy experience.

  8. Ksg

    Oh yeah, by the way – the rabbit hole is completely empty.

  9. Denise

    There are so many parts of the post that resonated with me….it is is so uncanny how situations you describe are exactly what happened to me. This article is just so right on point. I was definitely taking that blue pill to get through the past ten years….this was a great article. So much of what you say has helped me try to accept what I have been through. I struggle with wanting him to be normal so much…..I have to keep reminding myself that he is just not a normal person. I need to keep taking that red pill as much as possible and keep moving forward.

    1. Anonymous

      I’m there with ya Denise …. This article really hit home. But for me once I left I never regretted it. The abuse and the lies continued because we had son together but I NEVER regretted leaving. My problem was handling the continued abuse which actually became worse once I left ….using the court system to harasse and bankrupt me and alienating my son from me (which was successful for years until now … My son is an adult and now seeing for himself–and we r sooo very close now!!!)

  10. Ksg

    This is a brilliant analogy for something that is so difficult to describe to people.

    I tried showing someone the door once. Unfortunately they like the taste of the blue pill… for now, anyway.

  11. Carrie

    I meant my red pill path!! Dang msnbc got me all disjointed! Blue pill bad red pill good will be my mantra. Thanks Kim

  12. Carrie

    Thank you Kim your post was right on time! I’ve been no contact for 60 days and I know that life will get better each day but I realized that our presidential election and the republican narcissistic poster boy has been a trigger for me and I’ve felt like I was right back in the blue pill days! Obsessing about my ex and finally had the ahah moment because of te total lack of accountability and lies at nauseum on the 24 hour news cycle and yelling at the TV for someone to call it what it is. Anyway, you and this site has been a godsend and I will continue on my red pill path. I just wonder if others have experienced a heightened sensitivity or triggers just by observing someone else’s narcissistic behavior. Thank you for being the light in all this darkness

    1. Karen

      Yes. I have been triggered by what is happening in this presidential campaign. But at least I am now away and have no contact. That is when I really started to heal. My lawyer made it happen for me.

    2. Denise

      I have thought the same thing about one of our Presidential Candidates….it definitely triggers me and I can see it clear as day. The lack of impulse control and the behavior when they are “attacked” or questioned I have so many triggers. It is hard for me to be around people who knew us as us. Which is hard because I have friends who support me but when I think of our old life it makes me so sad and brings me right back to wanting to swallow that blue pill and go back to the way things were..

      1. Carrie

        Omg!! Someone finally called it out on msnbc and actually used the term gas lighting and acknowledged that “it’s” I refuse to say his name, behavior has triggered anyone who has suffered abuse. For me the feeling that is most significant and annoying is the reminder of what it was like having every conversation feel like it was with a 2 yr old! My prayers for all of us that are moving through it, going through it, have gone through it, so that we can stand up and speak loud enough to keep at least one more from experiencing it. Just how would we implement no contact if “it” became leader of the free world ??!! In gratitude to you all that we have a safe space to share its very cethartic

      2. Carrie

        Denise, I totally understand and relate and reliving it. Had been doing pretty good not even thinking about my the ex narcissistic but last few weeks the obsession started and playing it over and over and haven’t broken no contact but the wheels have been spinning. So I breath and shift my thoughts. Hang in there we are without a doubt better off and will get through this. Peace to you

    3. Helen

      I’ve had no contact with my ex for over 4 years now, he tries several times a year to get me to talk with him.. I work in an accounting office and need to visit clients at their homes on occasion. Yesterday I visited an elderly husband and wife, the husband is pretty much bedridden. I ended up being there for over an hour for what should have taken 20 minutes, because the husband was constantly telling the wife to be quiet, whispering to get her to lean in closer to hear and then he would push her back. Her son who is supposed to be helpimg them was putting her down and making fun of her. She never complained once. I felt so bad for her, I didn’t know what to do because we aren’t supposed to get involved in our clients personal lives. I ended up giving her a hug when I left when I wanted to grab her and say you don’t need to put up with this. I spent all,day remembering all the crap my ex used to pull on me with his gf, lies, insulting me, taking money,putting me down, and making fun of me in front of others.

    4. Yes i am sensitive to my triggers also like especially when family members mimic narcissistic . But yes i know i can realate to that so much.

  13. Janice

    Omigosh – this is so life saving – thank you soooo much – today is my 6month anniversary of leaving and more than 3 months of no contact – I am so proud of myself but could not have done it without folks like you ❤️Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

    1. Kim Saeed

      Glad to know it resonated with you, Janice! And Kudos on 3 months of No Contact!! Woo Hoo!


    2. Anonymous

      I’ve tried no contact but don’t make it very long. Tomorrow will be day one of the stover method and I have to stay moving forward with zero contact. He humiliates me aND yells at me. He hates women but pretends to love us and sex. He’s evil and these posts will help me have no more contact of any kind.

      1. Anonymous

        I’ve been trying. Have kids so hard. And I have a hard time not buying into his crap. After all day of listening to him get mad at me for something I didn’t do I ran into him and the woman he had an affair with for two years in Target. Not pretty…..he’s been contacting me today saying nice things and he doesn’t want to fight anymore. And it’s up to me. After always just bashing me and blaming me for everything. I have not answered and won’t engage. I definitely got lured in to looking like the lunatic.. I am doing so much better than I have been, but everyone slips. Hang in there.

      2. Anna Nim

        Our brains are funny. We are feeling bad..and who comes along to make us feel better? The narc, with all the pretty words and keys to your ever hopefully heart. We then feel better, all our love comes out..but we forget that they are the ones who made us feel bad in the first place! Our brain is addicted to those feel good hormones. Once I thought of my narc in terms of a drug (best one ever, right?), it was easier to go walk away..for good. I even joked to friends I was in “narc recovery”. I kept my life simple and rolled up the sidewalks. The path they take us down is an utter and complete waste of time..and right now, today is as good as it will ever get, there will never be anything better or fixed..just more lost time. Every. Single. Moment.

        1. Deborah Hunt

          Red pill, blue pill…such a perfect analogy for exactly the steps I had to take …same for me as so many others was the day I “googled ” narcissism… what a great feeling that was for me to have the validation I so desperately needed…my marriage to this extremely covert narcissist was 23 years and my second marriage… his third marriage!! I had been searching and doing some work on my inner landscape. I would read and meditate on the Word daily, started Yoga classes and became so excited about my mosaic classes. These steps had already given me plenty of iinner strength already , and then that fateful day I looked up Narcissism was the fuel I needed to finish my desire for even one more blue pill!! Went to an attorney and started my journey; and I wil never feel a need to look back…and I am 64 years old!! But one thing I knew is I took one look at him at our condo in FLA , which we bought a few years back for retirement; and I realized there was no way I could engage with him or spend any time with a man I did not trust, respect or like as an authentic person…something I aspired to do for myself. So I did not care about Florida, the farm, the big house or any other purchases he required to make himself the center of everyone’s universe. So my journey begins …scared at first in June when we separated and I went to one house and he to another; I am now so very strong in my personhood, and looking forward to my life’s purpose and enlightenment from within. We are all human, so I have allowed myself to not be perfect..and I get out my narc books, listen to YouTube and remind myself to think on higher things…it just keeps getting better!!

          The community that had formed from all of those abused from a narc gives me great courage and keeps me grounded. This is one of the better sites for me, and decided it was time to let u know how much your work has saved so many of us who had no one who could really understand the depth of soul erosion that a narc can do to those of us co-dependents or empaths…so now going over to our almost empty house we are trying to sell, and finish the final goodbyes to that big, fat mortgage ; and the ” house of pain” as I take my final leave…I will not miss that house, but I needed that to happen to understand how truly shallow my existence had become…I lost that former person that lived teaching, counseling, etc. and had great passion for those parts of me. He worked and worked on me ..made me feel stupid because I desired those fields that did not provide the monetary value that he could bring to the table as a financial advisor…so I can guess what i became. Now, eventhough much older than most, I really can not wait to find work helping others and also using the energy work, Reiki, reflexology as accents to my counseling I plan to establish…need to give myself more time to heal…. after all, I am not perfect..,so what if it took me a little longer than most…I got here!! Thank u for that!!

Share your thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.