Are you in a relationship with a narcissist?

Are you in a relationship with a narcissist?

Here’s a scary statistic; 35% of women report either a current or past relationship with a narcissist.  35%.  Are you one of us?  Are you uncertain?  Let me help you clarify.

~ You firmly believe that your partner is smarter, wiser & more capable of managing life.  You depend on him/her to help you navigate your life because they have helped you realize that you are unable to do this on your own.  Your thoughts & choices cannot be trusted because you have made some grave errors in the past.  He or she is more likely to provide a solution to the sticky situations you find yourself in.  Without their constant guidance, instruction or input you would not be able to complete even the simplest of daily tasks.  Tasks you thought you could manage, such as choosing appropriate outfits, how to properly clean a home, effective discipline for children and managing finances are too much for you.

~  Your partner is very compassionate about the abuse you have suffered in the past and understands that because of the damage done to you, you are too broken to survive on your own.  He or she is your protector, your hero.  Your partner can see through the manipulation of your family & friends.  He or she knows that you are unsafe with them alone.  Your partner has suggested that you start to create distance between you & the people you thought loved you.  To keep you safe from these people causing further harm to you, perhaps you should cut ties all together, because your partner is the only one you can trust to keep you safe.

~  Your partner is always considerate enough to point out that little changes would be a great improvement.  “It’s too bad you can’t put together an outfit like her.  She’s hot in those heals with her hair up like that.”  He is also very careful to point out that you do not suit an up-do in heals, because it makes you look like a hooker.

~  Your partner encourages open dialogue to discuss the relationship.  You feel valued when you offer suggestions for improvement and he explains the reality of your situation: “I wish you looked at me they way you look at her.” “I look at her that way because she is strong & confident, something you will never be because you’re too broken.”

~  There have been times when you have doubted the wisdom and the authority of your partner, but each time you question this, he is able to mention a friend or co-worker who feels the same way he does, thus proving that you are once again to broken to form an opinion about anything.

~  You are fully aware that you are damaged goods and are so grateful that your partner was willing to take pity on you and love you in spite of your past.  You are unlovable to everyone and without him to save you, you would be lost.

If any of this sounds familiar, then you are in a relationship with a narcissist.  Let’s insert the appropriate terms for each point above:

Gaslighting – creating uncertainty in your thoughts, beliefs & abilities.  This is used to diminish your self-worth and create dependency on the narcissist.

Isolation – creating distance between you & your support system.  With your family & friends out-of-the-way, your abuser has more control.  You are no longer guided by outside positive influences and are fully dependant on him.

Shaming – sounds like a compliment, but leaves you feeling small & insecure.  Used to reduce your self-confidence.

Deflecting – blames you for their indiscretions.  Narcissists are unable to accept responsibility for their actions.  They deflect accountability and choose to be the victim of others.

Triangulation – Bring a third-party into a conversation to back up their thoughts & beliefs.  Used to force you to second guess your thoughts & beliefs.

Projection – they are unable to accept their own feelings of worthlessness, so they cast these feelings on to you in such a way that you are convinced they are true.  They project their insecurities onto you.

How do I know this?

Because I was one of the 35%.  I was in an 11-year relationship with a narcissist.  I was told that he was forced to sleep with other women because my being pregnant made me fat (I gained 12 pounds in 9 months).  I was told that cocaine & hookers were necessary because of the burden I placed on him.  I was told that he deserved the settlement from my injury for dragging my sorry ass around all these years.  I was told that I was lucky to have him because no one else would put up with my stupidity & laziness.

I was also told that it didn’t have to be this way.  I heard whispers of strength & determination.  I saw the fear in the eyes of my daughters.  I heard the inner voice tell me that this is not what I would choose for them.  This is not the example I wanted them to structure theirs lives on.  They were worth more than this.  They deserved more than this.  They, my girls, gave me the strength & the courage to want more, believe more and hope for more.

How do you break free from a narcissist?

Start by listening for that voice.  The voice buried deep inside you that tells you this isn’t right.  The voice that brought you to this article.  The voice that has led you to secretly seek out alternative solutions, choices & possibilities.  Look around you.  Find your source of strength.  Is it in your children, your family or even a memory?  When you’re ready, reach out.  There is always someone close by that will support you.

  1. Contact your local abuse shelter: they will help you with a safety plan, housing & Legal Counsel
  2. Contact your local Police & tell them you are planning to leave a toxic relationship& ask for a Police Escort if needed. Let them know of any weapons in the home.
  3. Begin to slowly save & hide money.
  4. Pack a bag of essentials & leave it with a friend
  5. Download this Safety Plan for Domestic Violence 

You cannot fix this person.  They do not see themselves as the problem.  They feel you are the problem.

The honeymoon (those moments when you are treated like a queen, the apologies, the gifts, the promises) won’t last.  You know this.  This is just another manipulation tool to get you to stay.


You are never alone in this.  There are thousands of narcissists in this world, but there are millions of survivors.  When survivors band together, we begin to thrive, to dream, to create & to conquer!!  Together, we will change this world.  We’re ready for you to join us.  Let us know how we can help.

Click here to read more stories of survival.

Andrea Scarborough
Life / Parenting Coach

“I’m tired.” she said.

“I’m tired.” she said.

Tired of taking the blame, making excuses and following the rules.

I used to have dreams, hopes and a very clear vision of how my life would play out.  I wanted a career, a family, vacations and friends.  I wanted to be happy, secure in myself and feel safe.  I wanted all of that.

Somehow, I find myself trying to live up to someone else’s standards.  Someone else is calling the shots, making the rules and creating the expectations and try as I may, I am losing myself in this process.  I used to have the ability to make decisions.  I had a choice, I had a voice.

Now, all of that is gone.  You took away my power, you hushed my voice.  You said no one would listen to me.  You said I was wrong.  You said it was my fault.  You told me I am weak.  You made me feel stupid.  You took away my friends and shunned my family.  I am alone with you now, and I am afraid.

I am afraid for my safety, maybe not physically, because you have never laid a hand on me.  But I am afraid of hurting myself because I am unable to live up to your standards.  I am afraid of the world around me, because you said I wasn’t strong enough to handle it.

My life was not supposed to be like this.  How did I get here?  How do I get out?  I am in a dark hole.  I cannot see the sun.

I look at this huge scary world around me and I see people laughing.  How can you just laugh without someone telling you the joke was funny?  Aren’t you afraid your laugh is too loud?  What did you have to do to get permission to be with friends?  I’ll bet you’ll be in trouble when you get home.

Hanging out with friends is a distant memory, but it is a fond memory.  If I allow myself (in the quiet moments while you are gone), I remember laughing.  I remember not having to worry about what time I got home.  I remember choosing who I spent time with.  If I really work at it, I can remember.

It is these memories that get me through.  It is these quiet times, when you are gone, that I am free to remember, free to feel, free to just be.  I know I can’t spend too much time in my memories, and I know I can never share them with you.  It is a sacred place in my heart and in my mind that keeps me going.  There is a voice in these memories that speaks to me.

This voice tells me I am strong.  I am smart.  I am tough.  I can be more.  I can want more.  This voice tells me I belong in a sidewalk café enjoying a coffee with friends.  This voice gets a little bit louder each time I visit my memories.  I am so torn.  Torn between who I thought I was, and who you say I am.     There is something missing.  A piece of the puzzle that doesn’t quite fit.

I know you are stronger and wiser than I am, but I just have a feeling.  A feeling that it doesn’t have to be this way.  Other people look so happy and free.  I think I want to try that.  I want to experience joy (is that even a word, I’m not sure).  I want to feel the sunshine on my face and drink coffee with friends.  I used to be quite smart, I wonder if I still am?  In my memories I dreamed of living by the water, playing on the beach and I think I felt important.  What if there is truth in my memories?

You are so brave going out into the world everyday to earn a living for us.  I could never do that.  You said the world would just eat me up.  You said I’m not strong enough or wise enough to venture out there.  You said that I am grateful that you are willing to do this for me.  Am I grateful?  I’m sure I must be, but this doesn’t feel like gratitude.  This feels like obligation.  I think I want to try.  I think I am going to try. I think I can.

The voice in my memories is growing louder.  It is telling me that I am tired.  I am tired of being at fault, taking the blame and making excuses.  I am tired of living by your rules.  I am tired of trying to be the person you expect me to be.  I am tired of not being me.  That’s it!!  Right there, with you, I am not ME!!

I am going to be me!  I am strong.  Strong enough to venture into the world.  I am smart.  Smart enough to know there is more to life.  I am tough.  I am tough enough to break though all the pain, the heartache, the disappointment and find a way to be ME!

“I am tired,” she said, “tired of you.”


If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please contact your local Abuse Hotline for help!

When you are ready to create your future, please contact me.  I will help you get there!!

Read more stories of survival here.

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When Love Becomes Dangerous

When Love Becomes Dangerous

Written by: Kim Love  – Kim is not only a survivor of abuse, but she is now a successful entrepreneur & author.


I’m not the first woman to fall in love with the wrong man and I’m not likely to be the last. When it happened to me, it was like living in a room with no air. I felt suffocated unless he was there beside me. I couldn’t function without him which became dangerous because when we fought, he would “forget about me” for days. Dating a narcissist is one of the most dangerous habits you could have. Everything started off wonderfully, dating him was exciting and we were always doing something fun.

When I first met him, we were friends and he would often refer to me as his “Princess.” I could do no wrong and his loyalty to me kept me warm. It was like I was high on a pedestal that I would never be able to get down from. When we started dating it was that man that I had been friends with for years that I thought that I would be dating. But within a few months, things started to change. He had always called me intelligent and smart; he was impressed with the fact that I was a writer, but suddenly everything I did was “stupid.” He started saying it so often that it made me wonder if I actually was. I used to feel like I was on top of the world when I was with him but then I started to feel awful every time I was in his presence. He started to say things like my career wasn’t “a real job” or that I needed to work out more. After a while, it was as if I could do nothing right and I started to fall into a deep depression.

It’s sad when you love someone so much and you have a hard time understanding why they have changed. You assume you must have done something wrong and they make you believe that you did. He used to be so kind and now I was struggling to do anything I could to please him all the while he was telling me that I was “the worst girlfriend he ever had.” I had a hard time processing that because I was trying so hard to make him happy.

We got into a huge fight one day and he told me that the world would be a better place if I killed myself. I knew then that if I didn’t leave that he would probably push me to do just that. Leaving was a struggle because he would always pull me back in with promises that things would be better.

Lesson Learned

I know I’m not the only woman or even man who has struggled in a similar situation. There was a time in my life that I used to think that I was too strong ever to get involved with an abusive man but with a narcissist, you are often blindsided. You don’t see the signs until you are already in love and committed to that person. I made a mistake but I was able to correct it by leaving and I know that there are so many women out there that never do. They don’t realize that there are women just like them, a support system that can get them through anything.

I write many stories about love in You Taste Like Whiskey and Sunshine; some are bad while others are wonderful. I like telling these stories because not only have they made me the woman that I am today but they give me the opportunity to help others who have gone through the same things that I have. I have also met a former survivor of abuse, Andrea Scarborough who works to help other survivors get through their experiences. The more people that talk about these issues, the more women will come forward. Abuse doesn’t define you and you can move on from your past.


To add your story to our growing list, please contact Andrea.

Find more stories of survival, hope & support by following the links below.

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Denyse’ Story

Tina’s Story

LeeAnne’s Story

Her Story – The Phoenix Rises

We all have a story.  Some of these stories are cherished memories, but often times, they are stories of tragedy, horrors, abuse, neglect and shame.

I have a few of these stories myself.  Stories of abandonment, neglect, shame, violence and abuse.  It was years of toxicity from people I trusted.  People who, by position in my life, were supposed to keep me safe, guide me & nurture me.  Sadly this wasn’t the case.

It took me a long time to see that this didn’t have to be my “norm”.  I didn’t have to be abused, I deserved to love & be loved, safely, confidently and honestly, without judgement.  I have been on my self-healing journey for 15 years now, and I grow stronger everyday!!  Today, I am much wiser, more confident, more self-aware and have the ability to say “NO” when I need to.  This is an amazing life I live!!

However; I am all too aware that there are still so many caught in this toxic life.  Women who are abused, physically and/or emotionally.  Women who are desperately trying to safely raise their children in a unhealthy, toxic environment.  This is no place to raise a child and it is no place to build a strong woman.

I have decided to do something.  I can’t sit and idly watch as this continues.  I am who I am today because someone dared to give me a voice.  I was allowed to tell my story.  The more I spoke, the less I feared.  It is now my turn to offer this same gift.

This is the first in hopefully a long series of blog posts. I am offering women a chance to tell their story.  Stories of past or current trauma.  These stories will be written into blog posts and shared with the world.  Anonymity will be offered for those who need it.  I will also link back to you, if you use your story to help heal & encourage others.

I will give you a voice.  Like the Phoenix, we will rise!  Together.  

If you, or someone you know would like to participate in this series, you can contact me here.

Please share this post.  We need to turn up the volume and tell our stories!!

Tina’s Story

Denyse’ Story

LeeAnne’s Story

Thank you, to all of you who supported me on my journey.  This wouldn’t be possible without you.  xoxo