Have you ever experienced Narcissistic Relationship Abuse? How does the Narcissist manipulate your mind through Gaslighting, Projection, Silent Treatment, Discarding, and other mental cruelty tactics? I’ll answer these questions and share my story of Narcissistic Abuse recovery.

Table of Content hide
Narcissistic Abuse Survival Guide a 15-Step Plan to Sanity and Emancipation from The Narcissist by Anna Szabo

Narcissistic Abuse relationship described in this article is a relationship between romantic partners. That being said, Narcissistic Relationship Abuse is not necessarily a dynamic that occurs only in relationships between a husband and wife, like described in my story.

It can be a narcissistic mother-daughter relationship, it can be a relationship between siblings, it can be a hostile workplace relationship with the Narcissist manager, as well as any other variation of an interpersonal relationship.

While this article focuses on Narcissistic Abuse within marriage, I am also the daughter of a narcissistic mother.

If interested in that dynamic, read my childhood story here.

RELATED: The Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

I wrote over 100,000 words of detailed, quality content with real-life examples of Narcissistic Abuse to help you reflect on what’s happening to you in your life. Here are all my articled that may help you with Narcissist Abuse:

What Is a Narcissist?

Provided that this is a blog for Christian women, we will consequently focus here on the Narcissist man.

Let’s define the Narcissist.

Definition of the Narcissist

Definition of the Narcissist comes from his cruel intentions, ultimate motives, manipulative behaviors, and the tactics he uses to conduct his premeditated deception to trap you and suck the life out of you.

The Narcissist is a man who abuses his trapped Narcissistic Victim by executing Gaslighting, Projection, Silent Treatment, Discarding, and other mental manipulation tactics and therefore inducing her to doubt her reality and question her own discernment, to be confused and mentally incapacitated, to experience excessive fear and paralyzing anxiety, to suffer from debilitating depression and suicidal ideation – all resulting from his mental cruelty.

Anna Szabo

The Narcissist lives in a make-believe Ego-puffing reality, which he built for himself to survive life without having a Real Self.

The reason why the Narcissist has no Real Self is because of his childhood trauma, which resulted from his primary caregiver’s inability to properly bond with the Narcissist as a little boy.

Because of that childhood trauma, the Narcissist feels fundamentally unlovable, which leads to deep shame and self-hatred.

The Narcissist can’t face the emotional pain, shame, and self-hatred, which resulted from his childhood trauma, so he wears a mask, a persona, which is his Ego-Self.

The Narcissist’s identity is rooted in attention, compliments, admiration, and praise, which all feed his Ego-Self allowing the Narcissist to survive life without having a Real Self.

Without praise, admiration, and compliments, the Narcissist can’t survive because he would feel non-existent.

He would feel non-existent because he doesn’t know himself and doesn’t face himself as a human being, he only perceives himself based on others’ compliments and admiration, which serve as his Narcissistic Supply.

The abuse practiced by the Narcissist (Narcissistic Abuse) is extremely traumatizing, often resulting in victims’ C-PTSD and even suicide.

Tell Me How You Really Feel - The Anna Szabo Show Podcast for Christian Women

I’m not a phycologist or psychiatrist.

This content is based on my personal experience, as well as the experiences of dozens of women who shared with me their stories of Narcissistic Abuse.

The Narcissist Lacks Conscience

The Narcissist has no conscience.

Conscience is a cognitive process that elicits emotion and rational associations based on an individual’s moral philosophy or value system.

There’s a really good insight provided by Frederick Burkle.

Narcissism as a Deficit of Conscience

While normally our conscience may not always work as we might wish, when one’s conscience suffers a severe deficit or complete absence, the consequences are devastating, even though the one so affected will likely not see it this way.

Without a functioning conscience, a person’s experiences are dramatically different from those whose conscience is normally and functionally endowed.

That lack of a conscience affects not only one’s emotional, moral, and social functioning capacity, but also one’s ability to think properly and acquire knowledge and understanding through thought, experience and the senses (what is referred to as “cognition”), distorting it and limiting its depth and scope.

Our conscience grows from empathy (the ability to understand and share the feelings of another), based primarily on our attachments with others and what we learn from those relationships.

The capacity for empathy is low to non-existent in narcissists.

Without empathy, an individual cannot relate emotionally to other people. This excludes the possibility of forming deep, meaningful bonds with them.

Unable to understand and appreciate that other people are sovereign individuals with rich and complex inner lives, a narcissist sees them essentially as objects that can be used for his need- and wish-fulfillment, without any consideration given to their needs, wishes, humanity, or dignity.

His empathy deficit, combined with his grandiosity, also makes him blind to how his behavior affects others. Why, he is great and everyone knows it, and there is no need to question that; although confirming it, loudly and often, is desired and expected. It is the least that others can and should do.

Narcissists sometimes understand, intellectually at least, what makes people tick; but that understanding does not translate into empathy.

They do not care about other people’s experiences, only their own.

These are frequently tied to multiple lies and fabrications about their education, pedigree, accomplishments, war duty, business exploits, name dropping and the influence they claim they have with important people, and the love and respect everyone has for them, all designed to bolster their own ego in the eyes of others.

They may use the language of higher values, especially when it serves their needs; but a closer examination reveals that their understanding of values is severely truncated and shallow.

They can talk, for example, even forcefully and convincingly, about the needs of humanity and other noble-sounding topics; but that talk is rarely, if ever, followed by any meaningful actions, particularly if such actions do not result in a gain for themselves.

Often their grandiose ‘speechifying’ about human ideals is in direct contrast with their private behavior — cold, callous, and/or brutal — toward people in their lives.

While a narcissist can mimic empathy and some semblance of concern over human ideals, he cannot mimic guilt, an emotion that is completely beyond his ability, even if only intellectual, to comprehend.

It is partly a function of his grandiosity: he’s never guilty of or responsible for anything wrong because he has placed himself above humanity with its constraining social mores and silly emotional concerns.

But it also stems, and predominantly so, from his empathy deficit that makes him unable to experience the pain of others. And, as he is always justified in everything he does in his own eyes, the sheer notion of responsibility, much less its affective and more unsettling component of guilt (when responsibility is broken), is alien to him.

We can see this inability to experience guilt in the narcissist’s ‘non-apology’ apologies in those unfortunate situations when he is forced to issue a statement of contrition for public consumption.

He may sometimes express superficial remorse for something (“Yeah, I shouldn’t have done it”), but the sentiment is shallow, fleeting, and upon closer inspection related to his regret over causing harm to himself (his reputation, etc.) and not to the harm he inflicted on another person.

The narcissist tends to be very sensitive to shame, which he perceives as humiliation: a blow to his ego (sense of self) and/or a threat to what he sees as his important status compared to others. This sensitivity is the reason why he tends to lash out at those who shame or appear to shame him in any way. His reactions to shame are grossly disproportionate to the “offense;” he will hold grudges and seek revenge sometimes till death, his own or his “offender’s,” whichever comes first. 

Shame is so difficult for a narcissist to tolerate because it arises from an exposure of some flaw of his to others. He has many serious shortcomings; but in his own eyes he is perfect and surpasses everyone else, as he will let you know time and again, directly and not.

He must retain this grandiose delusion of superiority and perfection at all costs because this is all he has. His bigger than life persona hides an empty inner core, devoid of meaningful values and attachments.

A prick of shame exposing any flaws in the narcissist’s façade has a potential of deflating it and effectively destroying him since there is nothing of substance to fall back on within his inner world.

The rage with which a narcissist reacts to shame or humiliation thus deflects attention from his inner emptiness. That rage is often a predominant emotion, particularly in a narcissist who feels chronically deprived of the admiration and perks he believes he deserves (and as his need for admiration and perks is bottomless, so then is his sense of deprivation).

It does not take much to provoke it: a simple, neutral observation or a request can suddenly unleash it on an unsuspecting victim.

The vehement defense against shame is also another reason why a narcissist never takes responsibility for his behavior. Why should he anyway, when he’s perfect and does no wrong?

Nothing is ever his fault, no matter how great a mess he creates. Responsibility is always projected outwards, onto others, as blame. Admitting his culpability in anything could lead to shame and cracks in the false façade that defines his character — and his ego won’t allow that. It is a matter of life and death, ‘psychically’ speaking.

The flip side of his shame intolerance is his desire to humiliate others. It comes as naturally to him as breathing. He derives pleasure from inflicting on others the kind of pain he himself wants to avoid at all costs.

Humiliating other people is almost as satisfying as winning. It helps that the two often go together in the narcissist’s life. In fact, humiliating others is itself a win.

And he likes to win.

Frederick Burkle

I experienced this lack of Narcissist’s conscience in my marriage and it was scary. It began by him ignoring me as if I didn’t even exist, then he’d say he didn’t want me to touch him because he needed to save his body for his athletic pursuits, then, it escalated. Rejection and exclusion – that was the beginning of narcissistic disillusionment from discarding.

RELATED: Rejection

He didn’t pay the bills, spent my paycheck and overdrafted our bank account several times so I couldn’t even buy food, he gave access to our home to strangers, he revoked my access to AC and heat at home by code-blocking Nest, he asked a next-door neighbor to be my husband, he threatened me regularly, he flipped out and raged at me for months after our wedding, then he served me with divorce summons four months later, then asked to reconcile and immediately started demanding money from me as well as to sell our marital residence, then he filed for divorce again, then he demanded that I pay $50K to his lawyer to cover his court costs…

These are just some examples of what it was like to live with the conscience-lacking Narcissist. Read this article on how to recognize Narcissistic Abuse.

How Narcissist Makes You Feel

Dealing with the Narcissist who has no conscience whatsoever, I felt:

  • Deceived
  • Disillusioned 
  • Devalued
  • Disregarded
  • Dehumanized 
  • Distressed 
  • Devastated
  • Debilitated  
  • Disoriented 
  • Disassociated
  • Detached
  • Discarded 
  • Depressed

Read also What Does Narcissistic Abuse Feel Like?

Eventually, I became completely suicidal and had to go to Narcissistic Abuse therapy. I felt like there was absolutely no reason to live. I couldn’t see beyond the abuse at home with the Narcissist.

I couldn’t think about a future with him or even without. This abuse cycle wasn’t new in my life, and I was really exhausted from all the cruelty I had to live through.

RELATED: Prior to The Narcissist, I had a Domestic Violence relationship

What is the Narcissist’s condition?

Let’s explore.


What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

The Narcissist lives in a make-believe Ego-puffing reality, which he built for himself to survive life without having a Real Self. His identity is rooted in attention, compliments, admiration, and praise.

The goal of this section is to help you realize: Narcissistic Abuse you’re enduring is not your fault.

You are not crazy. You are being abused and manipulated by the cruel Narcissist.

I will explain in detail how exactly he does what he does to you and why.

You will see that it’s not you.

You will have a breakthrough and gain a good understanding of what you have endured in the relationship with the Narcissist.

I will also teach you how to deal with the Narcissist.

Bookmark this page so you know where to come back when you need help.

Why is the Narcissist who he is and what is his problem?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they’re superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

The Mayo Clinic

Most of the time, the Narcissist never receives an official diagnosis because to get one, he’d need to go seek help.

However, the Narcissist is highly unlikely to ever seek help because he sees himself as perfect.

He is extremely intolerant of any criticism and is most likely to avoid any places that could have potentially diagnosed him and offered him some mental health help.

Narcissistic personality traits are observable, but not initially.

Initially, the Narcissist wears a mask to lure you into his premeditated deception.

Ultimately, once you’re already in his captivity, he takes the mask off and you see the typical Narcissistic personality traits.

Narcissistic Personality Traits

Narcissism is a set of personality traits characterized by an inflated image of one’s own worth, a strong sense of entitlement, and a tendency to act selfishly.

The narcissistic tendency is cruelty and a genuine desire to cause you prolonged suffering.

The Narcissist has no remorse because he is completely feelingless, so he is incapable of feeling empathy or compassion toward you.

These traits can express themselves in two primary ways.

Let’s now discuss the two types of narcissism.

Grandiose vs Vulnerable Narcissism

There are two types of narcissism: grandiose and vulnerable.

Grandiose narcissists are often extroverted, attention-seeking, and power-hungry. They have a strong sense of entitlement and believe that they are superior to others. This is called overt narcissism. Anger here is expressed openly. Arrogance, superficial charm, and excessive optimistic are common.

Vulnerable narcissists often develop an inflated sense of self as a way of “overcompensating for low self-esteem and a deep-seated sense of shame.” They tend to be emotionally sensitive, cold, distant, withdrawn, and easily threatened by rejection and criticism. Their anger is hidden and internalized. This is called covert narcissism.

Common for both types are self-centeredness, extreme need for admiration, low agreeableness, mental cruelty, and lack of remorse.  

Narcissism forms early in childhood.

Genetics contributes to about 46-64% and the environment is responsible for about 36-54% of the narcissistic behavioral makeup.

Why Is the Narcissist the Way He Is?

After enduring Narcissistic Abuse and experiencing mental cruelty, you’re confused and exhausted.

You wonder what you did to cause the Narcissist to abuse you like this.

I wondered, too.

The answer is short: it’s not you.

It’s him.

The detailed explanation is below.

What Psychology Today Says

According to Psychology Today, Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a byproduct of certain childhood family environments.

All children want their parents’ approval and attention.

Children adapt to their homes, and often the most productive and reasonable adaptation to some home situations is to become the Narcissist.

The hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are:

  • Grandiosity
  • Lack of Empathy 
  • Need for Admiration

Psychology Today mentions that 50-75% of the people diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are men.

At my wedding, I was asked to participate in staging this Ego-puffing picture.

Michel Szabo and Anna Szabo at their wedding 5-14-2016

He planned this picture in advance and talked to the photographer about it with excitement.

It’s so revealing

Right after our wedding, he replaced his worship songs – played during our dating relationship – with the song called “Hall of Fame,” which he listened to on autoplay.

Instead of going on a honeymoon, we went to an IronMan competition in Chattanooga, TN on May 22nd, 2016 following our wedding.

From that point on, life was about IronMan and chasing medals and the hall of fame dream.

I was completely abandoned in a country house, my paycheck was spent on IronMan outfits and bicycle repairs, he didn’t even pay the bills, he walked around naked but refused sex to “save his body for IronMan,” he called his bicycle “my other wife I cheat on you with,” and when I confronted him, he filed for divorce four months after our wedding.

From my personal experience, I agree with Psychology Today: grandiosity, lack of empathy, and need for admiration were obvious in my marriage with the Narcissist.

What the Bible Says

Let’s explore what the Bible says about the Narcissist.

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

Romans 16:17-19

You might not consider yourself naive, I certainly didn’t see myself as naive, but the Narcissist’s premeditated deception is so cleverly orchestrated, planned, and organized, that the profoundness of his manipulation makes anyone a naive person.

The Narcissist walked into my life as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, presenting himself as a graduate of Metro Atlanta Seminary and working at North Point Church.

“Whoever Brings Blessing Will be Enriched” Proverbs 11:25

Bless Online Discipleship For Women

At Perimeter Church, where the seminary was, one pastor had persuaded me what a godly man I was about to marry.

Later, when this pastor found out what the Narcissist had done to me, he was first speechless but then looked at me and said: “Anyone can get deceived.”

So, we’re all “naive” when it comes to the Narcissist.

Michel Szabo and Anna Szabo Wedding 5-14-2016 at Verdi

For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.

Proverbs 4:16

This is truly the very description of the cruel intentions the Narcissist has toward you. He won’t rest until he knows you’re suffering. And his cruel intentions have nothing to do with you. It’s all him and who he is in the world.

Living with the Narcissist, you CANNOT ever avoid being hated by him.

The Narcissist lives in a make-believe Ego-puffing reality, which he built for himself to survive life without having a Real Self.

As an adult, as a Christian, you follow the Bible and common sense so here’s how you address the conflict with the Narcissist:

If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Matthew 18:15-17

That’s exactly how we ended up in counseling, more counseling, and then divorce jury trial in 2017.

I followed the Bible.

The problem is that from step one in this Bible verse, you are dead to the Narcissist. If you say to him anything other than praise, he will manipulate you cruelly into suicidal ideation because the very moment you say something that is not considered “words of affirmation” and admiration by the Narcissist, he discards you as useless.

He will suck your life out of you for that.

Based on my personal experience, no contact, as Romans 16:17-19 suggests, is the best strategy when dealing with Narcissistic Abuse in relationships.

What the Attachment Theory Says

The Attachment Theory helped me the most.

I knew the entire childhood story of the Narcissist, and it helped me see that his cruelty was all his own doing and not my fault (which he tried to project on me tirelessly).

The Narcissist has an “avoidant” attachment style and most people who are strongly affected by the Narcissist are of the “anxious” attachment style.

Those who have high anxiety responses to the Narcissistic Devaluing and Discarding are likely experiencing a triggering of attachment anxieties, and once those anxieties are triggered, it can take a long time to calm down completely.

Avoidants are not comfortable with too much closeness so their relational dynamic is to push their significant other away to create a “safe” emotional distance for themselves.

That’s the only way for the Narcissist to survive since he has no empathy or vulnerability, so you and I with our relational closeness spook the Narcissist, since he’s scared that his Real Self will be revealed and then he could be found out and exposed.

The Narcissist avoids closeness at all costs.

Those with anxious attachment styles, who desire a lot of closeness with their partners experience being pushed away as rejection or abandonment which trigger deep-seated anxiety.

That’s you and me: the Narcissist gives us Silent Treatment and we try to pursue the Narcissist in response. He loves the attention and he needs it, so he gives us more Silent Treatment.

Avoidants also tend to find fault with their partner and blame them for any issues in the relationship. That’s the Narcissistic Projection we will discuss later.

Anxious styles tend to find fault with themselves and blame themselves.

So in a Narcissistic Abuse relationship, all fingers are pointing toward the anxious person, which explains why the anxious person feels responsible when the Narcissist detaches from the relationship.

This is the exact description of my relationship with the Narcissist.

I had to undergo trauma counseling to even help myself wrap my mind around the entire concept of his deception, manipulation, cruelty, and how none of it was my fault. I blamed myself for everything.

That’s why I created this article about the Narcissistic Abuse relationship dance for you.

It is my hope that what I explain here today will release you from self-condemnation, guilt, shame, and blame for the faults that belong to the Narcissist and not you.

Please don’t ever mention to the Narcissist the Attachment Theory.

I did, and I can tell you this: he will eat you alive if you mention his childhood trauma to him.

He will yell and scream and rage at you because, to survive, the Narcissist must puff up his Ego and persuade himself that he had a great childhood.

The Narcissist lives in a make-believe Ego-puffing reality, which he built for himself to survive life without having a Real Self.

“The Narcissist can’t look the truth about his childhood trauma in the eye and face his current issues because his Ego is where his identity comes from, but his Ego can’t survive any exposure to vulnerability” (click to tweet)

Anna Szabo

The Narcissist was severely traumatized as a child at about two years old.

As Marla Feinberg, LMFT explains, extensive research done with infants and mothers together shows our attachment style is in place between the first and second year of life and does not change significantly throughout adulthood.

Situations that can cause insecure attachment can occur when caretakers are unable to sense their baby’s needs and end up responding in ways that are frustrating to the infant.

Insecure attachment styles can also result when caretakers are depressed or are using substances such as drugs, alcohol or pills, making them unavailable to meet their child’s emotional needs.

If the Narcissist’s primary caregiver passed away about that mark – two years old – he felt abandoned all these years, his pain comes from being done wrong by life or God or higher power or fate, so he feels fundamentally unlovable, which causes him to never feel loved by you.

If the Narcissist was passed from caregiver to caregiver, let’s say from a grandma to other family members, he is being completely confused about his identity.

The Narcissist might even change his last name as an adult in an effort to forget his painful past, to which of course he will never ever admit.

The Narcissist is filled with shame from feeling fundamentally unlovable, so he has to puff up his Ego.

No matter what you do, the Narcissist feels unloved.

It’s because he feels fundamentally unlovable.

None of it is caused by you.

It’s caused by his childhood trauma.

It’s not your fault.

I wrote a poem about it and hope it will help you understand that nothing you did caused his cruelty.

It’s all him and the way he was brought up.

"The Narcissist Is Confused About His Identity" #PoemsFromGod

The Narcissist grew up unable to bond with his primary caregiver.
He possibly had even multiple caregivers he was passed to.
As a child, he was of confusing messages about himself receiver,
So today to survive, his ego to constantly puff up he has to. 

He hates his story and pretends to be someone different.
He goes to a great length to coverup his true identity.
To the impact of his deception he is absolutely indifferent,
Because even he himself doesn't have of who he is any clarity. 

As an example, let's just say he was born a Latino or Hispanic,
But in his documents he intentionally and consistently checks "I'm not
Hispanic or Latino - I am white."
It's because he carries so much embarrassment and shame that he has a panic,
Even thinking that anyone his true self find out might. 

Another example, let's say, he changes his last name
And creates out of the blue brand-new Facebook profiles.
It's because to his community he tries to no longer pertain,
Since they know about his shame from his previous trials.

The shame-filled and confused Narcissist needs you desperately.
As his Narcissistic Supply, you provide validation and admiration.
From praise his fragile, flimsy ego can't survive separately.
So, the Narcissist with cruelty manipulates you into his insanity with no hesitation. 

10/19/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA

I just want to assure you now that I know how much empathy, compassion, and love you feel for the wounded Narcissist.

His pain is not your fault.

His cruelty toward is you all about his Ego.

I was so focused on him, his goals, what he wanted, what he said, how to build him up, how he viewed me, I forgot to focus on how God viewed me – a precious, special, chosen, capable, blessed, loved, accepted child of God.

Anna Szabo Ebook Devotionals for Women #52Devotionals

Narcissistic Abuse Defined

Defining Narcissistic Abuse in relationships is a one-of-a-kind challenge.

I’ve seen Narcissistic Abuse relationships completely confused with domestic violence relationship abuse.

Such confusion is misleading.

Narcissistic abuse is not domestic violence.

Though domestic violence perpetrator may be the Narcissist, it is not necessarily true that the Narcissist will use domestic violence on you.

The Narcissist is much more likely to eloquently manipulate YOU into committing suicide, while watching you with a smile and staring with his alligator-like Reptilian Stare right into your soul, observing your suffering, enjoying every moment of it, and sucking the last bit of life out of your being.

He will then tell everyone that he didn’t do anything and manipulate them to believe that it was all your fault.

That’s the Narcissist in a nutshell.

The Narcissist may often obsess about his grandiose fantasies. He believes he is superior and special.

He doesn’t have any other way to survive because his Real Self is an empty shell. He must puff up his Ego.

The Narcissist’s identity is rooted in attention, compliments, admiration, and praise.

The Narcissist seeks excessive admiration and attention in order to know that others think highly of him.

That’s why the Narcissist would easily go the extra mile to woo you at the beginning of the relationship.

“The Narcissist’s cherishing behaviors and loving actions, his respectful, supportive, and adoring behaviors were all aimed at targeting you to lure you into his cleverly premeditated deception so you would become his Narcissistic Supply.” (click to tweet)

Anna Szabo

The Narcissist has a tremendous difficulty tolerating criticism or defeat. 

If you say to him anything other than praise, his Ego-Self will suffer so much, he no longer will have the solid make-believe Ego-puffing reality he built for himself to survive. 

Saying something critical to the Narcissist is a sure way to become his target for hatred and rage.

Of course, the Narcissist can’t stand any rejection since rejection destroys his identity, which is in Ego. He will eagerly reject you if he fears that you might reject him or if you mentioned that you may leave him. 

But you don’t even have to reject the Narcissist at all.

All you need to do is to be successful, and he will hate you with passion.


Because he lives in a world where success is a scarce commodity and there’s just not enough success for everyone, meaning your being successful takes away from his success.

The Narcissist constantly compares himself to you and feels like he doesn’t measure up.

I had to watch the Narcissist on a witness stand in our divorce court in 2017 just being himself for hours and hours before I was able to accept that what my trauma counselor had already told me was true: I was a victim of Narcissistic Abuse and I was married to an empty-shelled Narcissist.

It took three days of the divorce jury trial for me to come to terms with what the Narcissist had done to me. I’ll explain all the details later.

Let’s continue defining Narcissistic Relationship Abuse because it’s the only way we can recognize it, escape it, and survive it.

To define narcissistic abuse, sources typically use descriptions of certain aspects of it. For example, some sources define it as a combination of tactics that are used by the perpetrator to abuse a partner (i.e., Lancer, 2017, et al.). Other sources define narcissistic abuse by describing the signs it has occurred through how it has affected the survivor (i.e., Arabi, 2017, “11 Signs You’re the Victim of Narcissistic Abuse,” et al.).  

These types of descriptions have been extremely beneficial to millions of survivors around the world who are currently in or have come out of relationships with narcissists, are traumatized by what they have been through and are seeking answers.

The problem with the descriptions, however, is that they are too broad to convey easily. They are also imprecise because they only focus on one aspect of narcissistic abuse instead of describing its actual underpinnings. This lack of precision in the definitions used can lead to challenges in explaining it.

Kristen Milstead

To help answer the question “What Is Narcissistic Abuse?” I will share below a poem I wrote about my marriage experience.

I hope that reading about what happens in narcissistic relationships, you’ll be able to define Narcissistic Abuse in relationships from their dynamics and motivation of pure cruelty.

Narcissistic abuse is all about mental cruelty. The narcissist always says: “I can’t win with you!” and it sounds so innocent. But it’s not innocent at all! The narc’s only goal is to win. The prize? It’s your life.

The Narcissist lives in a make-believe Ego-puffing reality, which he built for himself to survive life without having a Real Self.

That’s why the Narcissist always lies to deceive people.

The Narcissist is a Chief Deceiver and Liar

The Narcissist lies about everything. He also has two different styles of talking. When he’s trying to make a positive impression in the stage of deception, when he is wearing a mask and performing, he speaks clearly and makes an effort to pronounce words and follow a train of thought.

When he’s making up lies that don’t make any sense and don’t add up, he mumbles and may even pretend to speak with an accent. He hardly opens up his lips, and whatever comes out is a total word salad ought to confuse you.

He can lie about absolutely anything and not even blink. It’s because the Narcissist has no feelings since he has no Real Self. He’s empty-shelled and feelingless, so lying comes easily because he feels no remorse.

He is a Chief deceiver and liar.

I wrote a poem about it reflecting on my Narcissistic Abuse relationship in a marriage with the Narcissist.

"The Narcissist Is a Chief Deceiver and Liar" #PoemsFromGod

The Narcissist's primary agenda in life
Is to sneakingly get away with something.
He can even set out to get himself a whole new wife,
If in an ego boost for him resolves that hunting.

He can also get himself a new last name,
Searching for a new victim and running away from past shame.
He will lie to you about who he is and honesty claim.
Overall, he will do anything to get you involved in his make-believe love game. 

The Narcissist is a Chief Deceiver and Liar.
To lure you into his premeditated deception, he will go to a great length.
He needs desperately for someone him to admire.
Without praise, admiration, and compliments he has no strength.

It's because the Narcissist has a very fragile ego.
No one and nothing is important to him but praise.
When the Narcissist is pursuing you, it can be very intriguing,
But only until he quickly ends that short-term happy phase.

After the Narcissist had successfully lured you,
He resorts to just being himself and eating you alive. 
His mistakes and faults start being projected by him on you.
And at that point, he wants nothing less than your very life. 

10/17/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA

The Narcissist Has Cruel Intentions

You’re in love with the Narcissist and feel so many different feelings. You want to be with him. You want to love him. You want to stop the abuse and believe that it’s all your fault. You want to leave him.

He projects his faults on you, so you feel guilty for his faults.

You don’t understand. He was so nice when you first met… Is he really a cruel narc? What does the Narcissist ultimately want from you?

Watch this film that showcases exactly what the Narcissist wants from you and how he accomplishes his cruel goals.

You love the Narcissist and wonder if this can even be true.

Is he really cruel?

Does he actually wish you harm?

Or is he innocent and everything he put you through was not intentional?

The Narcissist is cruel. His intentions are cruel. His deception of you was premeditated and not accidental.

“The Narcissist wants you dead,” my trauma counselor told me.

I couldn’t believe it. I refused to believe it. Until I learned and saw for myself that, indeed, that was the case.

I wrote a poem about it, and I hope that reading it will help you define Narcissistic Abuse very clearly based on not only what he does to you but also based on what what he does to you does to you.

My poem is below.

Michel Szabo and Anna Szabo Wedding Atlanta 2016

Loving the Narcissist Is Like Taking Poison and Dying Slowly

The Narcissist lives in a make-believe Ego-puffing reality, which he built for himself to survive life without having a Real Self.

He uses you to puff up his Ego. That’s your only purpose.

Other than that, you’re a tradable commodity.

Narcissists never develop the ability to identify with the feelings of others, to put themselves in other people’s shoes. In other words, they lack empathy.

In many ways, they view the people in their lives as objects there to serve their needs.

As a consequence, they don’t think twice about taking advantage of others to achieve their own ends.


I was a commodity and I was traded in for an IronMan bicycle.

Why did he target YOU as his Narcissistic Victim? 

The short answer is because you are an amazing, kind, compassionate, and empathic human being.

Here’s a more detailed explanation. 

According to Dr. Jane McGregor, empaths are ordinary people who are highly perceptive and insightful and belong to the 40% of human beings who sense when something’s not right, who respond to their gut instinct, and who take action and speak up. 

They frequently, just like the child in The Emperor’s New Clothes, will tell the truth and expose lies and wrongdoing, which makes them a target for Narcissistic Abuse since the Narcissist is driven by exaggerated envy of others’ accomplishments and fear of shame from being discovered as fundamentally unlovable and empty-shelled.

The Narcissist needs an empath because he is unable to self-soothe.

“The Narcissist is driven by exaggerated envy of others’ accomplishments and fear of shame from being discovered as fundamentally unlovable and empty-shelled.” (click to tweet)

Anna Szabo

Dr. McGregor describes that evil people are often attracted to those with high empathy because of the compassionate nature of empaths. 

As empaths, we are sensitive to the emotional distress of others.

We also have trouble comprehending the lack of compassion in others.

This is a limitation that causes us as empaths to be targeted by the Narcissist since empathy and compassion significantly enhance our vulnerability to attacks from emotional vampires. 

Going back to WHY you, every great character quality that makes you such an amazing human being is the very reason why you became a victim of Narcissistic Abuse.

It’s not your fault.

I blamed myself every day for the Narcissist’s faults.

I’ve learned my lessons. Now, I want to help you.

Why is the Narcissist such an expert in mental cruelty?

The Bible says the Narcissist won’t be able to go to bed unless he knows that he made someone suffer. 

In your case the suffering party is you.

In my case, it was me who suffered.

And I still suffer today, I’m not fully recovered yet. It’s taking years to heal from Narcissistic Relationship Abuse.

The Narcissist takes great pleasure at just making you suffer for the sake of your suffering.

The Bible says it. And both you and I know it from our personal experience, even if we deny it intentionally to survive. 

You love the Narcissist because of the kind of an amazing man he presented himself to be early own in your relationship when he was working overtime to deceive you and lure you into his premeditated deception, to trap you and make you his Narcissistic Supply on demand. That was a mask. He’s empty and cruel. He is pure Ego.

Anna Szabo

You can’t believe all this cruelty. You hope that none of this is true. 

I know what it feels like.

On September 1st, 2016 the Narcissist sent me in writing, via email, the following mind-blowing confession:

I hurt you, I walked away and I argued to be right because of my Ego and I had to prove a point.

The Narcissist

He said it to me in his own words.

He wrote it out.

Still, I did not believe it.

Even after he confessed, I still thought it was not true. 

Even hearing all this from the Narcissist himself, after he admitted his cruel intentions and Ego-puffing, after he confessed to intentionally hurting me, still I did not believe that he was a cruel Narcissist.

My friends had offered to pay me to move out of our marital residence because he threatened me multiple times and he always carried a gun. But I stayed because I believed he was not intentional at hurting me and that he really meant well.

Anna Stevens and Michel Szabo engagement pictures at Piedmont Park in Atlanta in 2016

And then, my trauma counselor, who was very experienced with victims of Narcissistic Abuse, sat across from me, looked me in the eye, and said:

The Narcissist wants you dead.

My Trauma Counselor

What did I do? I stopped going to therapy because I defended the Narcissist.

That’s how eloquently the Narcissist takes over and debilitates your mind.

Loving the Narcissist is like taking poison and dying slowly. Here’s my poem reflecting on my narcissistic marriage.

"Loving The Narcissist" #PoemsFromGod

Loving the Narcissist is like taking poison and dying slowly.
He is so miserable and he can't stand that you are not.
He hates you for your joy and wants to make you feel so lonely
That you forget anything good or positive you ever thought.

The Narcissist has a very fragile ego.
He is full of insecurities, self-hatred, and shame.
For him, to manipulate you into darkness is very intriguing,
And to make you feel confused and doubtful is his primary aim.

"The Narcissist wants you dead" - my trauma counselor told me.
I didn't believe her at first but later saw that is was true.
With his narcissistic gaslighting and projection, the Narcissist sold me
On the idea that of his own abuse he genuinely had no clue.

The Narcissist won't leave you alone, ever.
You are his Narcissistic Supply needed to survive.
He is fueled my the idea of making you suffer forever.
He is pleased knowing that, abused by him, you can't thrive.

You can't help the Narcissist by loving him,
Because he doesn't just feel by you unloved -
From his childhood, he feels fundamentally unlovable.
That's not anything you can get for him resolved.

To be targeted and attacked by the Narcissist,
All you need to do is to breathe and be.
For him to hate you, it's enough that you simply exist
But if you're happy and joyful, he won't ever set you free.

He will continue to devastate you relentlessly.
He wants you to be drained and miserable like him.
To ensure that you feel hopeless, he will work restlessly,
Until he witnesses with pleasure that being depressed you begin.

Loving the Narcissist leads you not just to deadend -
It takes you quickly to the real hell on earth.
And as long as to genuinely care you tend,
The Narcissist will hate you vigorously and intensely for all he's worth.

10/16/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA

Narcissistic Abuse Definition

The term “narcissistic abuse” was coined in 1999 by Sam Vaknin, an Israeli writer and the author of “Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited.”

This was the name of his support group for victims of narcissists.

Here’s the definition I created to explain Narcissistic Abuse in simple terms, based on my personal experiences enduring narcissistic cruelty and becoming suicidal.

“Narcissistic Abuse is a relational dynamic, which implies that one person (perpetrator) manipulates another (victim) for the purpose of inducing severe and prolonged emotional suffering caused by the Narcissist’s consistent deployment of such mental cruelty techniques as Gaslighting, Projection, Silent Treatment, and Discarding, which result in victim’s complete confusion, hopelessness, and intense suicidal ideation.” (click to tweet)

Anna Szabo

For me, Narcissistic Abuse in my marriage started right after the wedding.

Just one example: the Narcissist began calling me condescendingly “high-maintenance” for all the same traits of my personality which were extensively addressed during pre-marital counseling and appreciated by him as he communicated to our premarital counselors.

The Narcissist typically chooses one thing to use against you to begin Narcissistic Devaluation and Discarding.

He then goes on to persuade others in that thing about you.

That’s how Narcissistic Gaslighting starts.

Let me explain Narcissist Abuse techniques.

Narcissistic Relationship Abuse Explained

Living and being with the Narcissist is scary. The Narcissist lives in a make-believe Ego-puffing reality, which he built for himself to survive life without having a Real Self.

He is completely empty.

When you’re with him, he competes with you every moment.

He wants to suck the life out of you to feed his Ego.

He has no Real Self.

He doesn’t know himself. He only perceives himself.

He perceives himself based on the admiration he receives from the outside sources, aka “Narcissistic Supply.”

Narcissistic Supply is a concept introduced into psychoanalytic theory by Otto Fenichel in 1938, to describe a type of admiration, interpersonal support, or sustenance drawn by an individual from his or her environment and essential to their self-esteem.


If there aren’t any sources of praise, admiration, and compliments for the Narcissist to perceive himself from, he perceives himself as non-existent.

That is why, once you figure him out and stop the constant flow of admiration, once you set expectations in the relationship with him, he starts devaluing you, then, he discards you to pursue his next Narcissistic Supply.

Without praise and admiration, the Narcissist is dead. That’s why he is charming, good at sex, and goes the extra-mile to make lasting impressions initially.

He doesn’t do it for you. He does it to win praise and admiration for his Ego.

When the Narcissist gets praised, he exists, from his own perspective.

Without praise and admiration, the Narcissist can’t exist in his own head because he has no Real Self, only Ego. He is empty-shelled and is made of pure nothingness.

That’s why his Narcissistic Supply is a must-have for the Narcissist.

When he meets you (often he targets you, like I was targeted for 11 months), you fall in love with his charm because he is love-bombing you to lure you in and trap you.

Then, you become disillusioned, and devaluation begins leading to discarding, often provoking suicide of the victim of Narcissistic Abuse.

That’s the Narcissistic Relationship pattern.

Narcissistic Relationship Pattern

Narcissistic relationships go through the following three stages, which are different from the domestic violence cycle of abuse.

Narcissistic Abuse Cycle consists of three stages:

  • Idealization
  • Devaluation
  • Discarding

The three stages can repeat over and over again leading to the development of Narcissistic Abuse Victim Syndrome.

Narcissistic Victim Syndrome is a condition triggered in a victim of Narcissistic Abuse after she’s lived through multiple cycles of Idealization, Devaluation, and Discarding induced by the Narcissist. Unlike Domestic Violence, where abuse is visible, Narcissistic Abuse is invisible. It’s an intentional, well-thought through, premeditated, and repeated assault on the psyche of the victim. The impact is cumulative often leading to suicide.

Anna Szabo

Underlying the idealization/devaluation cycle is “splitting” describing the mental state in which the world is split into good and bad.

On the good side, there is Idealization: exaggerated positive qualities are attributed to self or others.

On the negative side, the qualities of either self or others are exaggerated, devalued, and are worthy of contempt.


The Narcissist did not meet you accidentally. He targeted you.Then, Idealization began.

He showered you with love, affection, kindness, and quality time.

He was a true gentleman and treated you as his lady.

He was charming and honoring, respectful and attentive.

He appeared to be present, real, and mature.

He connected with you emotionally.

He persuaded you that what you had was true love.

Michel Szabo kissing Anna Szabo on the day of their engagement January 31st 2016

The stage of Narcissistic Idealization can be recognized if you pay attention (I didn’t, I was caught off guard, and my heart was his for the taking).

The Six Warning Signs of Narcissistic Idealization:
  1. We have so much in common
  2. We have the same hopes and dreams
  3. We share the same insecurities
  4. You are so beautiful
  5. I’ve never felt this way in my life
  6. We are soul mates

Narcissistic Idealization is a trap set up by the Narcissist to deceive you, lure you in, groom you for the upcoming mental cruelty, and to lay the foundation for your future doubt: you will soon be abused but you’ll be thinking: “He is such a good guy, he is not abusing me intentionally! He means well, I know him!”

That’s what the phase of Narcissistic Idealization is for: to trap you.

You feel like you’re pursued by a good man who wants a genuine, lasting relationship with you.

Michel Szabo proposing Anna Stevens at Piedmont Park in Atlanta in 2016 - Anna Szabo

During the Idealization stage of Narcissistic Abuse relationship, a cruel predator is simply trapping you as his victim to soon eat you alive until you’re dead in every aspect of your humanness.

Dr. Freeman describes this in detail:

This phase is composed of the intense, all-consuming chase. They are often hyper-focused on their new target and stimulated beyond the excitement that non-disordered individuals feel regarding someone new. They are motivated, interested, kind, seeming able to demonstrate compassion and concern.

Dr. Rhonda Freemean

During the Idealization stage of a Narcissistic Abuse Relationship, you are groomed to be the source of Narcissistic Supply. It happens via the well-premeditated deception process called “love-bombing.”

Idealization period evokes in you the illusion of the “soul mate” effect in order to trap you.

In psychoanalytic theory, when an individual is unable to integrate difficult feelings, specific defenses are mobilized to overcome what the individual perceives as an unbearable situation. The defense that helps in this process is called splitting.

When viewing people as all good, the individual is said to be using the defense mechanism called Idealization: a mental mechanism in which the person attributes exaggeratedly positive qualities to the self or others.

The idealization stage serves the purpose of building your trust and programming you for abuse by incrementally removing your boundaries.

In my relationship, this phase was characterized by beautiful flowers, romantic trips, and little details, such as this: every time I’d get up to go to the bathroom, he’d get up, too, at a restaurant and wait for me standing, then attentively pull my chair, and when I’d be seated, he’d also sit down.

He also spoke in clichés, though I thought he was actually genuine saying “I want to love you as Christ loved the Church.”

During this stage, anything anyone said about me mattered to him. Also, he talked about me being organized, responsible, goal-oriented, budget-conscious, and accountable as the qualities he loved about me.

That all ended soon, when the Devaluation stage began after our wedding night.


You start noticing that the Narcissist speaks about you in a condescending manner and he disappears, disregards the relationship you thought you two were having (actually, it’s just you who is having this relationship, he is only viewing you as a tradable commodity, you are food to him), and he begins practicing mental cruelty on you through:

  • Gaslighting
  • Projection
  • Silent Treatment
  • Reptilian Stare
  • Smear Campaigning (blackmailing you in order to present himself as a victim in the eyes of others)

He despises you, hates you, flips out on you, and you experience his narcissistic rage as soon as his Ego-puffing mask comes off.

You bonded, and next was the time for you two to progress to closeness, responsibility, and accountability in your relationship.

That’s where administrative aspects of close relationships come up since you’re no longer strangers, and there’s life to live together.

Money, chores, calendar planning, and all other aspects of living you now bring to his attention since you see yourself together with him as a couple, and couples function as one, they have responsibilities and exhibit accountability to each other.

The Narcissist is not together with you, he’s on his own, and he’s using you.

He’s a never grown-up little boy who wants to do whatever he wants whenever he wants and he can’t stand the idea of accountability.

Most importantly, he is not in a relationship with you, you are simply there to serve him, but you don’t know it, so you nag him about the relationship you think you two are having.

He doesn’t respond as a grown-up man who is bonding in a close, meaningful relationship with his woman.

The Narcissist responds to your expectations of maturity, responsibility, and accountability with rage, avoidance, word salad, Gaslighting, Silent Treatment, and by projecting his faults on you.

You stop seeing him in the light of his Ego-puffing mask. Now you start seeing his true colors.

You stop being filled with illusions about the Narcissist. You become disillusioned and figure him out.

Now, the Narcissist hates you.

But he’s not the only one who hates you: YOU hate yourself for allowing him to abuse you, yet, you feel powerless to change that because you’re completely lost in him and you forgot all about what God says about you, who you are as a child of God – loved, special, and precious.

Anna Szabo Ebook Devotionals for Women #52Devotionals

The Narcissist views you as all-bad because you no longer provide the same on-demand supply of praise, admiration, and compliments to him 24/7.

When viewing people as all bad, the individual employs Devaluation: attributing exaggeratedly negative qualities to others.

Dr. Freeman explains this stage of the Narcissistic Relationship:

During this phase, the reward system of their brain is no longer stimulated by their mate. The reward system is ‘off” so to speak with regard to that partner (back to their baseline). Given that they are emotionally superficial and cannot move forward in the process of love toward the bonding stage, for them the relationship is over. With the dopamine intensity lessened, they become bored or consumed with negative feelings and disconnect from the relationship. 

Dr. Rhonda Freeman

Here you learn that the Narcissist isn’t all perfection.

He won you over and got what he wanted, so he takes off “The Right Man” mask.

By the way, the Narcissist literally sent me a PDF document called The Right Man. He emailed it to me four days after we met saying he typed it up for me. He asked me to read it and then he pretended to be like the man described in the Right Man PDF.

You become disillusioned, and The Narcissist loses his on-demand Narcissistic Supply from you.

The Narcissist doesn’t need you anymore because he can’t use you for “food” so he’s now in the business of destroying you.

Here is a poem I wrote about my experience with the Narcissist.

When I became disillusioned, seeing his fragile Ego beg for praise and admiration made me nauseous.

His Ego-puffing mask came off once he saw my disillusionment, and he began practicing mental cruelty on me resulting in my suicidal depression.

The Narcissist’s Ego is Fragile
"The Narcissist's Ego Is Fragile" #PoemsFromGod

The Narcissist's ego is fragile like a bomb,
Because his identity is rooted in nothing solid.
He will be charming, cherishing, and very calm,
As long as toward him you are admiring and torrid.

But if you say to him anything other than praise,
He will explode toward you with long-lasting anger and hatred.
He will meticulously manipulate you into complete haze
Where from your sanity and dignity you become separated.

The Narcissist has no concern for you at all,
Except he needs you to feed his ego with admiration.
So, when you refuse to be his Narcissistic Supply anymore,
The Narcissist will instantly want you dead with no hesitation. 

10/16/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA

During this stage, after our wedding, he was busy texting with a friend on the phone as we entered our honeymoon suite.

He was talking about his friend’s shoes, all while I was standing there all dressed up waiting for him after the full day of the wedding – simply because he had brainwashed me for months about his dream of taking off his wife’s wedding dress slowly.

Anna Szabo Marrying Michel Szabo

Yep, I was standing there, his new wife, in one of the nicest Buckhead Intercontinental honeymoon suites, all dressed up and excited, waiting while he was turned away from me in a chair in a corner on the phone texting about his friend’s shoes.

That’s just one example of the Devaluation stage.

In the morning after our wedding night, he said he will now be busy with his IronMan training and had to go be with his bicycle. When my jaw dropped on the floor as I heard this, he flipped out and raged at me for having expectations of him.

Later, we were in the car driving as his friend texted saying: “…your brain-scattered wifey” putting me down. I asked him how he felt about his friend’s putting me down but he pretended that it didn’t happen.

When I confronted him asking what he said to his friend about such a comment, he flipped out on me, showering me with narcissistic rage for having expectations and being “high-maintenance.”

This was the stage where he started threatening me regularly.

During this stage, anyone could say anything about me and it wouldn’t matter to him. Also, he began condescendingly talking about me as being “high-maintenance” because we now lived together and I brought with me my skills of being organized, responsible, goal-oriented, budget-conscious, and accountable. These were now the qualities he hated about me.

After that, discarding began.


Here’s the truth: the Narcissist wasn’t looking for a relational partnership with you. He wanted the relationship where you could be his Narcissistic Supply and serve him on-demand praise, admiration, and compliments whenever he’d decide he needed those, which is typically 24/7, otherwise his Ego can’t survive.

Other than giving the Narcissist his Narcissistic Supply, you have no purpose to exist.

Nothing about you interests him. He is empty and has no feelings, so he doesn’t understand or care about your feelings or needs.

It’s all about him. He needs on-demand supply for his Ego. He can’t be bothered about anything else.

Such things as you, your feelings and desires, bonding, responsibility, accountability, marriage, life together, financial obligations – none of these things matter to the Narcissist.

The Narcissist is not trying to build a life with you.

I know, he did say to you in the beginning that he did want to build a future together with you, but what that actually meant was that he wanted to have you. He wanted you to be there to serve as his Narcissistic Supply on-demand. That’s all.

The Narcissist is looking for a person who will do things solely for his own sake. His priorities, obsession with fame, his personal pursuit of whatever brings him Ego-puffing admiration, these are the only things that matter.

You only exist in terms of your value to his Ego.

Once that’s done after your disillusionment, he takes off his mask and he’s done with you.

The Narcissist hoped you’d make him feel really good about himself forever but you’re not seeing him covered in pink glitter anymore.

Oh well, it’s over then.

In my case, I’ve wised up and finally saw the Narcissist for who he was, though it took a lot of time.

This was the stage where the Narcissist was regularly flipping out telling me: “How can I get rid of you?!”

He filed for divorce twice in our eight months of marriage.

I didn’t believe he was intentionally cruel. I was suicidal and suffered from depression because I was so confused and struggled with cognitive dissonance. I excused his behavior.

The Narcissist turned my life into a complete mental haze.

Soon, I saw the whole picture:

The Narcissist had done this before, discarded his last victim, changed his last name, created new social media profiles, and … well, then, he targeted me for 11 months before meeting me, love-bombing me, brainwashing me so I’d marry him, and then discarding me once I was disillusioned.

I saw very clearly every narcissistic mental cruelty technique the Narcissist used on me. His narcissistic manipulation drove me to intense suicidal ideation.

What are the tactics he uses?

How does The Narcissist do what he does?

He uses narcissistic mental manipulation techniques.

Narcissistic Manipulation Techniques

How does the Narcissist get you to this point?

He leverages premeditated deception tactics to carefully and eloquently lure you in so you’re trapped.

You’re trapped, and here’s what happened.

The Narcissist targeted you to lure you into his premeditated deception because you are beautiful, smart, and have a good heart.

He targeted and trapped you because for having you he loves getting compliments.

The Narcissist’s identity is rooted in attention, compliments, admiration, and praise. It’s because the Narcissist has no Real Self, only Ego-Self. He is empty-shelled, so praise, admiration, and compliments help him survive the life driven by his Ego. Without praise, admiration, and compliments, the empty-shelled Narcissist perceives himself as non-existent. He doesn’t know himself because getting to know himself would require vulnerability and feelings, but the Narcissist doesn’t have either one of those. So, he only perceives himself instead of knowing himself. He can only perceive himself as an existing person if he gets praise, admiration, and compliments from his Narcissistic Supply.

Anna Szabo

Of course, people don’t believe what you share about the Narcissist’s cruelty toward you. No one believes you because just like he deceived you, he also deceives others.

I wrote a poem about it on my journey of Narcissistic Abuse recovery.

I watched how the Narcissist manipulated people by putting on a mask around them and brainwashing them in order to win their approval.

"The Narcissist Is Eager For Approval" #PoemsFromGod

Why can so many people hardly believe 
The cruel treatment you've endured from the Narcissist?
Because exceptional deception he is able to achieve
And, in light of his charm, his cruel intentions are by people either unnoticed or just dismissed. 

The Narcissist is very skilled at pretending to be a People Pleaser.
His plan to persuade everyone in it is very clever.
He works overtime to conquer people's minds and opinions like Caesar.
Of being real, the Narcissist thinks never.

Being liked by people is how the Narcissist gets praise.
Praise is his food vital for survival.
The Narcissist must obsessively others' approval constantly chase.
Otherwise, of his Narcissistic Supply he will experience deprival.

10/19/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA

The Narcissist lives in a make-believe Ego-puffing reality, which he built for himself to survive life without having a Real Self.

Having you if you’re perceived as a trophy, helps his Ego and wins him admiration, attention, and compliments from people.

The Narcissist’s goal is to have you, not to be in an actual relationship with you where you matter as a human being.

He doesn’t see you as a human, you’re his food.

He wants a checkbox in his head to be marked as “done” and once he has you, he starts eating you alive.

Having you gives Narcissist the food his Ego needs.

Praise, compliments, admiration from others are his Narcissistic Supply, so if you provide that, if you are a source of that, he wants to have you to satisfy his Ego.

In my case, he’d literally brag to me:

Look at me, I got you, though you’re way out of my league, I’m the best because now I have you!

The Narcissist

I was a trophy. He liked having “the girl in the red coat” he saw on Facebook and targeted for 11 months.


The same thing he wants to HAVE you for is the thing he HATES you for.

I wrote this poem that reflects my life with the Narcissist and the narcissistic relationship abuse I suffered from.

This honest poem explains how the very thing which attracted the Narcissist ultimately becomes the thing he hates you for and uses to destroy you.

"The Narcissist Is Driven By Jealousy"  #PoemsFromGod

The Narcissist is jealous of your accomplishments.
He targeted you for your beauty and smarts -
Because for having you he loves getting compliments;
But that is also where his hatred toward you starts.

The Narcissist lives in the world of scarcity.
Your success to him means that he doesn't measure up.
He hates on you with laser-focused clarity,
Aiming to completely empty your emotional cup.

He drains your energy and hope out of you
By gaslighting you to make you feel crazy.
He also meticulously projects his every fault on you,
So that it looks like your mind is confused and hazy. 

To intentionally devalue you and to make you feel worthless,
The Narcissist exercises another clever technique.
It's called Narcissistic Silent Abuse and it's a very painful nonsense,
Because he completely ignores you and for months with you doesn't speak.

He doesn't acknowledge your existence or presence,
He makes sure you feel useless and worthless,
Unless he needs money from you or presents,
Then, he will be nice until his next nonsense.

In the Narcissist's make-believe universe,
He is the All-Mighty All-Powered Superior.
Even if for months his erratic behavior toward you is adverse,
He easily continues to maintain with others a pleasant exterior.

But you are his survival-essential Narcissist Supply,
So prepare to be attacked with long-lasting mental cruelty.
Get ready, because the Narcissist wants you to die
And he won't tolerate your success continuity.

In his own head, the Narcissist constantly competes with you.
For him to feel better about himself, you must fail.
So, with his well-thought cruel techniques, he confuses you.
And you get so depressed that you can no longer avail. 

10/17/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA

When we met, the Narcissist saw my home and was mesmerized. He said: “Your home is so beautiful, I’d do anything to have my home look like this!”

When we got married, he abandoned me in an 1800 sq ft two-story house that was unfinished construction.

I was surrounded by boxes and junk in our marital residence, located 50 miles away from my place of work, and the Narcissist flipped out any time I asked to put our house together to make it a home.

He’d rage at me for the same thing which made him target and pursue me.


Because the Narcissist lives in the world of scarcity, so he constantly compares himself to YOU. Your accomplishments and good qualities eventually make him feel like he himself doesn’t measure up.

“The Narcissist wants to get you destroyed because the good in you makes him feel inadequate.” (click to tweet)

Anna Szabo

Remember I mentioned that when the Narcissist says “I can’t win with you!” it’s nothing innocent?

Wanting to win is the Narcissist’s goal in a relationship with you. He pursued you to win, to get the box in his head checked as an accomplishment of conquering you.

Once he has you, he makes your life miserable and destroys you.

That’s what “winning” means to the Narcissist.

In my case, he brainwashed and cruelly abused me to the point of total mental haze. Suicidal depression took over, and I didn’t want to live anymore because I didn’t want to be in the future where the Narcissist also was. I was so exhausted by his mind games and I was giving up on life.

Narcissistic Verbal Trickery

The Narcissist wants to confuse you and keep you in a state of mental haze.

He wants to force you to feel insane.

The Narcissist’s goal is to get you to doubt absolutely everything, including your own reality.

He wants you to live in multiple realities where he reigns.

Sometimes, you wake up to Dr. Jekyll. Other times, you wake up to Mr. Hyde.

Whatever he does, when confronted, he says: “I didn’t mean it,” “I was only joking,” “You’re putting the words into my mouth,” etc.

He uses Narcissistic Verbal Trickery to continuously manipulate you into hopeless confusion, to gaslight you, and to make you feel guilty for his faults through eloquent Narcissistic Projection.

Also, he mumbles instead of actually speaking.

Mumbling out word salads is the Narcissist’s manipulation tactic to avoid accountability and to keep persuading you that you’re making things up.

Although the term word salad is used in the Narcissistic Abuse recovery community (a.k.a. “narc speak”), within clinical settings it references disordered speech patterns as potential indicators of such disorders as schizophrenia, dementia, some forms of autism, and bipolar.

Following the narcissit’s word salad is like finding your way out of a maze. It is recognisable through circular conversations and repetition, lack of logic, sweeping generalisations, use of words that are disjointed or unrelated to the context of the conversation, and imply contradictions.

Essentially, it consists of a lack of semantic fluidity.


That was literally my ex-husband’s speaking style, unless he was masked up to deceive someone (then he would communicate well to trick people).

I remember one of our divorce trial witnesses spoke on this topic. She witnessed first-hand how his mumbling was disjointed and made no sense and how he used it for manipulation.

That was how he communicated most of the time.

Only after we were married, of course, because before our wedding he made sense, was speaking with an effort, communicated solid ideas using full sentences, and appeared to be mentally ok.

I wrote this poem about Narcissistic Verbal Trickery to help explain its purpose and effect on you as a victim of the narcissistic abuse cycle.

"The Narcissist Manipulates You"  #PoemsFromGod

Verbal trickery is the Narcissist's preferred method of manipulation.
He has a talent for saying the right thing  to confuse and degrade you.
The Narcissist wants of your mind complete and total domination,
And in your worthlessness and uselessness his goal is to persuade you.

The unrelenting mind games of the Narcissist are incredibly damaging.
You are left traumatized with emotional pain that has no end. 
You become mentally crippled with inability to be managing
Even of your own mind and sanity command.

In the midst of it, you are not understanding what is happening.
You feel crazy, confused, and paralyzed by self-doubt all the time.
You don't know how to escape from the manipulation that's so saddening
That all you do daily is just try to out of depression climb.

The "you have misunderstood what I was saying" and "stop assuming" are his favorite phrases.
He has no explanation for anything, except these two.
He made you believe he had heart and soul in the relationship's earlier phases,
So now about the cause of his emptiness you're puzzled and seek a breakthrough.

Don't. The answer is there's nothing there, just emptiness.
Everything else you saw before was a clever pretense to deceive you. 
Don't feel for the Narcissist compassion or pittiness,
Because he will gladly use those feelings to further manipulate and mislead you. 

10/17/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA

Narcissistic Gaslighting

The Narcissist intentionally takes cruel actions to make you feel mentally incompetent, to persuade you that you’re insane, and to assure you that you are crazy.

He manipulates your mind to believe that you can’t trust your thoughts, discernment, or memory.

There’s a film about it. It’s called “Gaslight.”

It’s scary to watch the Narcissist in action from afar because in my own marriage he made sense and I believed him. That’s why I almost committed suicide.

I was completely devastated believing I was mentally incompetent.

Once I put the two and two together, his cruel actions started all making sense: his goal was to make me feel crazy and to manipulate me into hopelessness and suicidal ideation.

The Narcissist manipulated me into complete mental haze unnoticeably, cleverly, and very eloquently.

No one will ever believe you about any of this, because the Narcissist pretends to be a totally different person around people.

You’re mentally exhausted from his cruelty and manipulative games, so you appear strange but he is an “amazing man” in the eyes of others.

What else do you need? He’s such a good guy!

You’re so lucky!

Blah blah blah

"The Narcissist Gaslights You" #PoemsFromGod

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse 
Used by the Narcissist in order to instill in you as his victim
An extreme sense of anxiety so you become completely confused,
To the point where you no longer trust your discerning mental system.

The emotional damage of Gaslighting is huge on the Narcissist's victim.
Gaslighting is truly the most powerful covert method of Narcissistic Control.
You are mentally manipulated to never be able to predict him,
And to make you feel crazy and brain-scattered is his primary goal. 

The Narcissist's agenda is to first kill your confidence.
He needs your energy and glow but also feels that he himself doesn't measure up.
That's why he meticulously sets out to make you doubt your own mental competence,
So that with self-doubt, sadness, and insecurity is filled your emotional cup.

He's very clever at making you doubt the reality of your own perception.
He's very intentional at persuading you to question the evidence of your own senses.
The facts are always twisted is the Narcissist's very believable deception
To make it seem as if he were a victim so that you pay his expenses.

The Narcissist constantly hides whatever makes him feel ashamed, 
But if he can't hide, he will just skillfully lie.
He is terrified if his actions create negative consequences to establish the truth aimed.
He will work over time to persuade anyone that you are crazy and he is just a good guy. 

10/20/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA

The intention of Narcissistic Gaslighting is to, in a systematic way, target your mental health, self-confidence, and self-esteem so that you are no longer able to function mentally in a stable manner.

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse used by narcissists in order to instill in their victim’s an extreme sense of anxiety and confusion to the point where they no longer trust their own memory, perception or judgment.


Gaslighting involves the Narcissist to frequently and systematically withhold factual information from you and replacing it with false information to discredit you and to make you appear insane.

Over time, this narcissistic mental manipulation strategy leads to finally undermining the mental stability of the Narcissistic Victim.

Narcissistic Gaslighting is a dangerous form of abuse.

“Emotional, mental, and spiritual damage of Narcissistic Gaslighting is enormous. When the Narcissistic Victim is exposed to it for an extended period of time, she begins to lose her sense of self, sanity, and dignity.” (click to tweet)

Anna Szabo

He will look you straight in the eye and lie while smirking and staring with his alligator-like empty eyes of a predator mauling his victim.

Unable to trust your own judgments, you as his Narcissistic Victim start to question the reality of everything in your own life.

You begin to doubt your every decision and second-guess your every thought.

Gaslighting leads to the Narcissistic Victim becoming very insecure, depressed, and withdrawn, feeling mentally incompetent and crazy.

Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic utilized to distort and erode your sense of reality. It eats away at your ability to trust yourself and inevitably disables you from feeling justified in calling out the abuse.

You may feel like you’re crazy and abuse isn’t actually happening to you.

Narcissistic Projection

Narcissistic Projection is a mental manipulation technique that’s hard to spot, recognize, and explain.

Projection is a defense mechanism used to displace responsibility of one’s negative behavior and traits by attributing them to someone else.

It ultimately acts as a digression that avoids ownership and accountability.

The Narcissist is perfect and you are terrible.

That’s his main belief.

He manipulates the truth in every situation in the way that you believe that his faults are yours and you feel guilty for his faults.

EscapeAbuse.com explains this complex psychological manipulation phenomenon this way:

Narcissists don’t just project their faults and failings (character flaws and bad acts) onto you, they also project their feelings, emotions, and beliefs onto you.


And then the website says: “Actually, “into” you.”

The Narcissist is at fault. But you felt guilty.

Isn’t it simply incredible?

He projects his faults into you, into your head, into your soul, he makes you believe that you are guilty of his wrongdoings.

The Narcissist truly projects his faults not just onto you but into you.

I internalized his every fault. 

I felt guilty for his wrongdoing.

I blamed myself and apologized to him for his mistreating of me.

Narcissistic Personality clinical expert Dr. Martinez-Lewi explains that Narcissistic Projection is psychologically abusive.

Rather than acknowledging his own flaws, imperfections, and wrongdoings, the Narcissist dumps his own character traits on his unsuspecting victim.

Narcissistic Projection is painful and excessively cruel.

Instead of admitting that self-improvement may be in order, the Narcissist prefers that you take responsibility for his behavior and feel ashamed of yourself for his faults.

This is a way for the Narcissist to project any toxic shame he has about himself onto and into you.

I wrote a poem for you to help you understand the dynamics and complexity of Narcissistic Projection so that you know it’s not your fault but also understand that he won’t stop it.

Narcissistic Projection is the Narcissist’s way of relating to you because he is all good and you are all bad in his Ego’s eyes.

"The Narcissist Projects His Faults On You" #PoemsFromGod

Projection is Narcissist's favorite trick.
It's his fine art of making you feel guilty for his vices.
He exhausts you with his manipulation and makes you mentally weak.
Then, he starts Silent Treatment on you and to make sense of his cruelty you're left to your own devices.

You have been harmed by the evil Narcissist
Who once upon a time portrayed himself as a genuine person.
But nothing genuine or vulnerable in him even exists.
The more you believe the Narcissist, the more his mental cruelty will worsen.

The Narcissist doesn't see you for who you are.
In fact, he doesn't see you at all.
His relationship with you is so bizarre 
Because your only value is to praise and admiration supply to his ego-filled soul.

So, how is he so successful at projecting his faults on you?
Well, remember that relationship phase when he was cherishing and sweet?
That's when the Narcissist persuaded you
That he is wise and trustworthy and that his companionship you really need.

Later on, the Narcissist rendered you as his victim to emotional terror,
Which you had to deny for a while to simply survive.
This mental coping mechanism has been practiced by war prisoners forever.
It's when you stop trusting your own perception of reality to be able to stay alive. 

So, the Narcissist projects his faults on you easily,
Because you don't have any confidence from abuse and doubt your every thought.
With time, as the scope of his mental cruelty is increasing,
To project more and to gaslight you more the Narcissist ought. 

10/20/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA

Narcissistic Silent Treatment 

The Narcissist has a lot of pain. He always avoided it and never dealt with it.

Because the Narcissist never invested the time and effort required to grieve his childhood trauma and never experienced genuine sadness, he’s filled with unprocessed anger and rage.

His rage shows up as Narcissistic Silent Treatment.

Narcissistic Silent Treatment is the Narcissist’s childish way to deal with the conflict between the two of you. The rage he’s expressing toward you through Narcissistic Silent Treatment is the deeply-rooted anger from his childhood trauma, which went unprocessed for decades and is now showing up in your relationship, presented to you as if it were caused by you.

Anna Szabo

He’s a little boy who never learned how to communicate effectively.

To punish you and to manipulate you into agreeing with his point of view, he gives you silent abuse.

He ignores you to punish you so you submit to his manipulative ways.

It’s because the Narcissist never matured into an adult male.

He is a never grown-up little boy stuck in his childhood where he initially learned to puff up his Ego to survive the trauma he was experiencing as a child.

In his childhood, the Narcissist learned to withdraw emotionally to manipulate people and to wear a mask around those people who give him praise, admiration, and compliments to feed his Ego.

He practices Silent Treatment on you because it’s the only thing he knows how to do when it comes to relationships.

“The Narcissist is a never-grown little boy and has no real conflict-resolution skills. Narcissistic Silent Treatment is his only conflict-resolution skill. Its aim is to manipulate you into agreeing with the Narcissist’s point of view.” (click to tweet)

Anna Szabo

The way y’all’s conflict needs to be resolved – from the Narcissist’s standpoint – is for you to start worshipping the grounds he walks on and stop having any relational expectations of His Majesty.

The Narcissist hates expectations and accountability.

In my case, he even gave me DVDs to watch to persuade me how expectations and accountability are bad in relationships and how I was bad for thinking that accountability in marriage was a good thing.

Submit to the Narcissist and let him do whatever.

That is how you can resolve the conflict.

Until you submit yourself to him and let him do whatever, for as long as you continue being a thinking-feeling-normal human woman, the Narcissist will have a conflict with you and give you Narcissistic Silent Treatment.

Literally, the words of my ex-husband: because of my Ego, I treated you with silent abuse to prove my point and teach you a lesson.

"Narcissistic Silent Treatment"  #PoemsFromGod

To control, punish, intimidate, and invalidate you,
The Narcissist uses Silent Treatment chronically.
With that, this Eternal Child intends to demonstrate to you
How worthless you are to him, ironically.

"Ironically" because he actually needs you to supply
Admiration, attention, money, and praise for him.
Yet, superbly the childish Narcissist will  apply
Silent Treatment until you with self-doubt and confusion he can brim.

The Narcissist is self-absorbed, moody, aloof, petulant, and egotistical.
He won't even blink abusing you and taking money from you at the same time.
And while to you this behavior appears to be erratic and mystical,
To the empathy-lacking, feelingless Narcissist doing it is no grime.

Narcissistic Silent Treatment is aimed to express
The Narcissist's disapproval of you and his anger and rage.
He's a never-grown Little Boy wanting you to impress,
While into productive conflict resolution you as an adult try him to engage.

The Silent Treatment is used by this Eternal Child to send you a message
Of how insignificant and worthless you are to him.
It's because the immature Narcissist can't a productive dialogue manage,
Since he has such a poor self-image and low esteem.

The Narcissist has such a fragile ego
That he needs your energy and eats you alive.
Constantly putting you down for him is very intriguing,
Because that's how he puffs-up his ego to survive. 

10/20/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA

Narcissistic Reptilian Stare

The Narcissist has flat eyes full of nothingness. He stares at you to intimidate you. It feels like being eaten alive by an alligator.

Often, the Narcissist stares at you while you can’t see it. He’s studying you like any predator studies his victim. He stares at you without any feelings, with his eyes empty, thinking of you as his food.

Have you ever seen an alligator mauling a dog or a human? The alligator is just eating. He needs its supply. The reptile has no feelings for the dog or the human it’s mauling. It’s eating its food. That’s all there’s to it.

That is exactly how the Narcissist is mauling YOU.

You are his food. That’s all. You’re his Narcissistic Supply. I explain Narcissistic Supply below.

Here’s a poem I wrote about Narcissistic Reptilian Stare and what it does to you. It’s ought to intimidate you. I still have cold sweats remembering the Narcissist staring at me with his alligator-like empty eyes and me feeling intense fear and panicking.

"Narcissistic Reptilian Stare" #PoemsFromGod

To look the Narcissist in the eye is the beginning of losing a part of yourself.
He takes so much. He takes everything you have.
He then leaves behind just a shell of you, while he himself
Goes on and just tells people lies on your behalf. 

Looking the Narcissist in the eye is dangerous.
His very goal is to suck your life out of you.
He often stares at you, which feels very mysterious,
But the reason why he does it is to intentionally intimidate you.

His Reptilian Stare is coupled with complete lack of empathy or remorse.
This nerve-racking stare is often accompanied by silent treatment.
Experiencing it, you feel intimidated and scared of course,
And that's the goal of the Narcissist who's to your feelings absolutely indifferent.

Trapped in his make-believe ego-puffing pathology, 
The Narcissist resembles an alien on drugs.
Being eaten alive by an alligator is a relevant to your life analogy,
Because with his Reptilian Stare the Narcissist meticulously into death you drags. 

10/20/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA

Narcissistic Mental Trickery – Perpetuating the Role of a Victim

The Narcissist gaslights you and projects his faults on you, he mentally manipulates you to incapacitate you mentally, to fill you with doubts and confusion, then, he plays a victim.

I saw it play out in my divorce court where the Narcissist changed his testimony daily.

I cried a lot as I was still in a state of psychomotor retardation from the prolonged suicidal depression induced by the Narcissist.

The very outcomes of his own cruelty used to victimize and abuse me the Narcissist used to play a victim.

I do not have a film about my life with the narc but there’s a film that showcases exactly what happens in the lives of victims of Narcissistic Abuse relationships. It’s called “Gaslight.” There was one released in 1940 and one released in 1944. They are both excellent demonstrations of my own marriage with the Narcissist.

You can watch the full 1944 version of “Gaslight” here.

The Narcissist mentally manipulates you into doubt, confusion, fog, and insanity. He then blackmails you to persuade people you’re mentally incapable and untrustworthy (aka crazy, insane). Then, he provokes you in public and says: see that’s what I’m talking about, she’s like that!

The perpetrator plays a victim, and because of his Ego-puffing mask, people believe him: they are as deceived as you once were.

I saw this come full circle in my four-day long divorce jury trial.

Prior to us getting married, I had remodeled the Narcissist’s house to be our marital residence, per his request. Then, he manipulated me into insanity and suicidal depression, filed for divorce four months later so he could sell the house and receive $145,000 profit on it. He demanded from me to simply “go away” once I stopped proving him with praise and admiration and he asked me: “How can I get rid of you?” as if I were a tradable commodity.

He dehumanized and discarded me.

There was no peace in that house.

When I got on the witness stand on the last day of our divorce jury trial and was asked what I wanted, I said: “I have peace.”

It was all I wanted and didn’t have. Watching the Narcissist’s cruel game unfold on the judge, the jurors, and everyone present, I finally believed what my trauma counselor had told me: I was a victim of Narcissistic Abuse, married to a cruel and evil Narcissist. That was it.

He was empty-shelled and I finally saw it.

It took a four-day long divorce jury trial for me but I finally was disillusioned and untrapped.

The Narcissist is a master of perpetuating the role of a victim.

It comes easily to him because the Narcissist is a Chief deceiver and liar.

Narcissistic Supply (Primary and Secondary)

The Narcissist lives in a make-believe Ego-puffing reality, which he built for himself to survive life without having a Real Self. His identity is rooted in attention, compliments, admiration, and praise.

The narcissist needs an on-demand supply of praise, admiration, and compliments in order to survive.

The reason why he can’t live without Narcissistic Supply is that the Narcissist needs other’s approval and praise in order to preserve his fragile Ego.

There are two distinct sources of Narcissistic Supply:

  • Primary Narcissistic Supply provides all of the attention that the Narcissist addict craves. The nature of the attention can be experienced in either a public form (such as fame, celebrity, notoriety) or in a private form (such as admiration, flattery, acclaim, fear, repulsion).
  • Secondary Narcissistic Supply alludes to those people or things that provide supply on a regular basis (such as a trophy spouse, accomplished children, famous friends, admiring colleagues, praise-giving clients, medals). This form of supply allows the Narcissist to lead a more normal existence as he perceives it, it provides him with the social distinction and the alliance that he needs.

He has a list of checkboxes in his head to check in other for his Ego-Self to perceive the Narcissist himself as existing and normal.

The Narcissist strives to have his Ego boxes checked, at any cost.

Obsessed by the illusions created by his Ego-Self early in childhood to survive his childhood trauma, driven by an inflated sense of his own superiority fueled by Ego-Self, the Narcissist renders himself susceptible to all sorts of obsessions, compulsions, and addictions, including addiction to fame, which supplies admiration, praise, and compliments on-demand as the Narcissist needs them.

Anna Szabo

In my case, the Narcissist was addicted to IronMan describing to me how good he felt about himself seeing people shouting his name, clapping to his success, cheering him while he was running and biking, and admiring him.

I remember his return from one of his little races. He was down. I asked him why he didn’t feel good and he said: “There weren’t enough people cheering me on along the way. Why did I even do this race?”

Everything he ever did was to get praise and admiration.

We never went on honeymoon. Instead, we went to an IronMan competition in Chattanooga, TN right after our wedding. There, I witnessed people shouting his name for hours and worshipping him.

A few weeks later he called his IronMan bicycle “My other wife I cheat on you with” and four months later he filed for divorce after being absent from our marriage and completing three IronMan competitions during that time, traveling worldwide, while I was abandoned in an unfinished-construction house, outsourced to his next-door neighbor, in a new neighborhood, 50 miles away from my workplace and far away from my friends.

The IronMan was his primary Narcissistic Supply and I was his secondary Narcissist Supply.

On September 25th, 2016 at a Christian conference Harvest hosted by Greg Laurie, a process server served me with divorce summons while the Narcissist was completing his third IronMan in our few weeks of marriage.

Narcissistic Relationship Signs

Narcissistic relationship signs begin from the red flags of the idealization stage: if you feel swept off your feet by his fast-moving love-bombing and he says he never felt this way before and claims that you two were made for each other, know that he is grooming you for abuse and luring you into his premeditated deception to then eat you alive.

“If you feel swept off your feet by his fast-paced love-bombing and he claims that you are his soulmate, beware of the Narcissist!” (click to tweet)

Anna Szabo

If you’ve been trapped already and are now living through the devalue stage where the Narcissist’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde behavior (loving one minute and totally enraged the next) inflicts great harm on your psyche, you know he is the Narcissist and you need to get out.

“His Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde behavior (loving one minute and totally enraged the next) is one of the red flags of Narcissistic Abuse.” (click to tweet)

Anna Szabo

Narcissistic Relationship signs are also your feelings, though, by the time you realize what they are, you’re already trapped and confused, so you don’t trust your own discernment.

“Here’s how you feel in the relationship with the Narcissist: fearful, distressed, confused, doubtful, drained, anxious, depressed, suicidal.” (click to tweet) 

Anna Szabo

Narcissistic relationship abuse red flag is also the Narcissist’s language, which is specifically designed to cause you to:

  • Question you sanity
  • Mistrust those who support you
  • Feel abandoned, as if the Narcissist were the only one who cares
  • Feel worthless
  • Give yourself no credit for your hard work
  • Doubt your ability to think or make decisions
  • Disconnect from your own wants and needs
  • Give in to whatever the Narcissist wants
  • Obsess about your mistakes and blame yourself excessively
  • Make excuses for Narcissist’s wrongdoings
  • Spin your wheels trying to make the Narcissist happy
  • Excuse the Narcissist and see yourself as the source of all relationship problems

“The Narcissist knows exactly how to emotionally and mentally devastate you to cause you to exist in the altered mind and body states of powerlessness and helplessness where he reigns.” (click to tweet) 

Anna Szabo

I hope these narcissistic relationship signs will help you see the Narcissist for what he is so you can protect yourself from his ultimate intention of destroying your life.

He will not stop abusing you until you remove yourself from this relationship and establish strong boundaries.

RELATED: Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

Often times, local police may need to be a part of your protective boundaries.

In my case, friends began calling me and sharing: “Michel said he’s going to divorce you to date you again.” I had never heard such an eloquent threat of stalking before. This showed me that he was totally crazy.

My local police now have his picture and the understanding of his threats of stalking.

He fulfilled his threats: after our divorce, he sent me a calendar invite to meet up, to which I responded that he is not to ever contact me again.

The Narcissist will go to a great length to harm you.

What Is the Impact of Narcissistic Abuse?

Here’s the fundamental truth about Narcissistic Abuse: this what you’re experiencing has nothing to do with you and has everything to do with your abuser’s childhood trauma.  

You feel that you need to love the Narcissist more and better. But the Narcissist doesn’t just feel by you unloved. He feels fundamentally unlovable. Not because of you but because of his childhood trauma.

Because the Narcissist feels fundamentally unlovable from his childhood, he is full of shame and self-hatred. But he can’t deal with such feelings because they are too painful to face. 

Unable to face his painful human feelings because they are too scary and hard to survive, the Narcissist avoids himself as a human being.

To avoid facing his own humanity, the Narcissist created a persona. The persona is his Ego. The Narcissist doesn’t have a Real Self, only his Ego-Self. He cannot feel because all he has is his persona, which is his Ego, which is unable to feel.

The Narcissist’s identity is rooted in attention, compliments, admiration, and praise – all to feed his Ego-Self. The Narcissist has no feelings because he has no Real Self. He’s empty-shelled and feelingless and avoids getting to know himself because he is scared of his own humanity and painful feelings from his childhood trauma.

The Narcissist never bonded with his primary caregiver. 

Whoever took care of him when he was a child did not create with the Narcissist proper, secure bonding called “attachment.” 

The Narcissist always wears a mask. He’s always on guard. 

You can’t get through to him. 

You know why?

No one’s home. Nobody’s there. Really.

What you fell in love with was his persona but he can’t maintain it 24/7/365 so now you’re in a relationship with a cruel monster.

The cruel monster is who the Narcissist actually is and the man whom you fell in love with was the mask of the Narcissist used to trap his victims into his deceit.

The Narcissist is very good at pretending. 

The impact of Narcissistic Abuse on you results from the cruelty you endured, such as Narcissistic Gaslighting, Projection, Silent Treatment, Devaluing, Discarding, and other abusive tactics.

Narcissistic Abuse results in you feeling drained, fatigued, confused, doubtful, foggy-minded, sleepless, sick, anxious, depressed, suicidal, and filled with excessive constant fear, which leads to PTSD.

The Narcissist traumatizes you severely.

Narcissistic abuse relationship leads to Narcissistic Abuse Victim Syndrome.

Narcissistic Abuse Victim Syndrome

Narcissistic Abuse Victim Syndrome is what I had as the result of being married to the Narcissist.

Proper definitions will help us gain clarity regarding what Narcissistic Victim Syndrome is, how it comes about, and what its symptoms are.

What is “Victim?”

I don’t often use the word “victim” because it implies helplessness and powerlessness of a person facing abuse. However, we do need to define what the word “victim” means, though it is a given that I personally believe that you do have the power to change your situation, even if you’re abused.

In my story of Domestic Violence, I explain how I felt a victim and how I transformed my mental state to feeling a victor.

So, what is a victim?

A victim is a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action. 


Any woman who has experienced Narcissistic Abuse has been harmed, injured, and in some cases, even killed as the result of the Narcissist’s behavior.

So a woman who endured Narcissistic Abuse is a victim, according to Dictionary.

What is “Syndrome?”

Many relationships are not perfect but they are not abusive. Relational conflict is unavoidable, and so feeling irritated in a relationship is not always avoidable, nor is it something to avoid.

Sadness, anxiety, fear, insomnia, doubt – these are all a part of human experience from time to time. So, if your romantic partner makes you feel sad once in a blue moon, he isn’t the Narcissist.

Narcissistic Abuse is a relationship pattern. It’s a cycle that repeats itself.

The repetition of the abusive cycle causes the Narcissist Abuse Syndrome.

Syndrome is a group of symptoms which consistently occur together, or a condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms.


So, occurring consistently and occurring all together – these two conditions must be met as necessary before we can call something a “syndrome.”

What is “Narcissistic Victim Syndrome?”

Narcissistic Victim Syndrome is a group of symptoms experienced together and consistently by the victim of Narcissistic Abuse.

The word “syndrome” comes from the Greek “syn,” meaning “together,” and “dramein,” meaning “to run.”

A “syndrome” is a set of signs and symptoms that tend to run together in a cluster that can be recognized as associated with abuse.  

Symptoms cluster, all together.

What are those symptoms? 

Narcissistic Victim Syndrome Symptoms

The Narcissistic Victim needs to seek therapy because a counselor who’s equipped and educated will help her gain perspective on the situation.

In order to be able to diagnose a woman suffering from Narcissistic Victim Syndrome, the therapist needs to be able to observe the woman, interview her extensively, and gather the signs and symptoms to access her psychological makeup as her story unfolds.  

I was first diagnosed with Narcissistic Victim Syndrome by my trauma counselor.

Narcissistic Victim Syndrome Symptoms:

  • High stress 
  • Anxiety 
  • Panic attacks
  • Confusion 
  • Fatigue 
  • Physical pain
  • Shame and guilt
  • Disgust with self
  • Disassociation 
  • Atypical avoidance of places, events, or people
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Feeling detached
  • Experiencing the sense of a limited future
  • Sleeping and eating difficulties
  • Distorted sense of blame related to trauma
  • Sense of detachment or isolation from other people
  • Hyper-vigilance, irritability, being easily startled
  • Flashbacks
  • Hopelessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Foggy-mindedness
  • Psychomotor retardation
  • Psychosomatic illnesses
  • Depression
  • Self-harming
  • Suicidal ideation due to feeling trapped 

By the way, if this content is helpful, make a donation now.

The Narcissistic Victim is trapped in multiple realities with the Narcissist and is confused from his Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde behavior. She loves the Narcissist and experiences mental fog and illusions about loving him better and more. She hopes to fix everything. She hopes the Narcissist will change.

The victim of Narcissistic Abuse often refuses to admit what she had witnessed over and over again: the Narcissist she loves never had a conscience or human feelings, besides, he willfully, intentionally sought to drain the life from her heart, mind, and soul using common mental cruelty tactics, such as Narcissistic Gaslighting, Narcissistic Projection, Narcissistic Silent Treatment, etc.

The abuse runs deep and may also cause PTSD and C-PTSD.

While married to the Narcissist, I was diagnosed with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD).

The symptoms of C-PTSD are often grouped into three main categories:

  1. Re-living (flashbacks, hallucinations, nightmares, etc)
  2. Avoiding (people, places, thoughts, events, etc)
  3. Increased Arousal (excessive emotions, difficulty in sleeping and concentrating, anxiety and panic attacks, etc)

Narcissistic Abuse victims are likely to demonstrate feelings of shame, humiliation, and self-blame due to the Narcissist’s projecting his faults and shame on his victim repeatedly.  

The Narcissistic Victim has learned to accept responsibility for the Narcissist’s behavior. Whenever the Narcissist’s rage is triggered, without any doubt, the victim is told that his wrongdoing is her fault.

Stockholm Syndrome in Victims of Narcissistic Abuse

The Narcissistic Victim may also be suffering from the phenomenon known as “Stockholm Syndrome.”  

Stockholm Syndrome involves the victim emotionally bonding with her narcissistic captor.

This “trauma bonding” is known to be a strategy for survival in victims of Narcissistic Abuse who feel trapped.  

In the hostile environment of a Narcissistic Abuse relationship, the victim learns that her abuser does carry out his threats, so she feels in danger.

She’s terrified and feels lost and isolated.

As soon as the Narcissistic Victim receives small kindnesses from her abuser, she feels connected to him, and the connection makes her feel safe again.  

Stockholm Syndrome is something I experienced living in the same house with the Narcissist who threatened me repeatedly and flipped out on me constantly but also would make dinner for me and leave it to sit on the table.

Once I figured him out, I’d leave it sitting there and I’d never touch it so it would be covered in mold and stink but the Narcissist would wait for me to touch is so that he could say: “Look what a nice guy I am, I make her dinners!”

Before I figured all this out, such manipulative mind games would evoke the sense of connection in me and hook me.

Stockholm Syndrome is a highly unconscious sophisticated source of defense for survival in the relationship with the cruel Narcissist.

Cognitive Dissonance as a Coping Mechanism Used by Victims of Narcissistic Abuse

Cognitive dissonance is another unconscious defense mechanism employed by the victim of Narcissistic Abuse for survival.  

Narcissistic Victim lives in a torturous, hostile, confusing, and highly-stressful, dangerous environment. Mental cruelty is used to manipulate the Narcissistic Victim into insanity and to incapacitate her cognitive, emotional, and physical functioning.

Within the Narcissistic Abuse relationship, the threat of abuse is always present, so the victim is always ready for the Narcissist to flip out any second.  

Coping with such a dangerous and unpredictable environment forces the Narcissistic Victim into multiple inner conflicts where various defense mechanisms are activated.

Cognitive dissonance is common among Narcissistic Victims.

Cognitive dissonance the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.  


I was abused by the Narcissist and hated the conditions I was living in but I stayed because I was loyal to him. My friends saw my situation and offered to pay to move me out of our marital residence. Yet I never left him, even when he repeatedly threatened me saying: “If I were you, I’d leave the house right now because I am not in the right state of mind” and when he’d ask me: “How can I get rid of you?”

Eventually, I split into two people: Anna Stevens, who I was before I married the Narcissist and Anna Szabo, who I became when married him.

The cognitive dissonance shows itself through rationalization.

Anna Stevens saw the unhealthy relationship with the Narcissist and wanted to run away but Anna Szabo wanted to honor God and believed that the Narcissist loved and cared for her deep down.  

This inner dialogue made me quit Narcissistic Abuse therapy Anna Stevens was attending in order to let Anna Szabo bond with her abuser.

The result of cognitive dissonance is a massive draining conflict within the Narcissistic Victim.

Anna Szabo was my emotional self and Anna Stevens was my rational reasoning self.  

Cognitive dissonance is a sign of the disharmony the victim is experiencing as a result of two conflicting ideas going on at the same time: she knows that she should get out of the abusive relationship, but she also knows that she loves the Narcissist.

When Stockholm Syndrome and Cognitive Dissonance are present, the Narcissistic Victim believes that the Narcissistic Abuse relationship is acceptable.  

I was so enmeshed in the relationship with my abuser, that I felt my world would fall apart if the marriage with the Narcissist ended.  

What Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Do to Your Psyche

The most painful part about my marriage with the Narcissist was being married to both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

I never knew who would show up when.

I had to walk on eggshells, felt constant anxiety, and was in physical pain almost every day after our wedding.

From experience, I want to note one really important thing: while in the story, where this metaphor is taken from, Dr. Jeckyl to Mr. Hyde transformation takes a few moments, in real life, the Narcissist flips out on his victim in a split of a second.

In my Narcissistic Abuse relationship, it was scary to witness the narcissistic transformation, which was unpredictable and instant.

I remember how the Narcissist manipulated me eloquently when he wanted something from me and wanted it immediately:

Then, he’d switch and become a totally different person, rage at me, abuse me cruelly, and have no remorse:

This behavior is very damaging and very common in Narcissistic Abuse relationships.

That was the starting point of my own confusion and suicidal depression: my wedding was with Dr. Jekyl but I ended up in a honeymoon suite at Buckhead Intercontinental with Mr. Hyde.

If this content is helpful and you want to say thanks, donate now.

The transformation from Dr. Jekyl to Mr. Hyde could happen instantly with the Narcissist, once I was “reeled in” and asserted my expectations for mutuality in our marriage relationship.

The 180 emotional turnarounds of the Narcissist happened once I started asking for truth, honesty, reliability, commitment, and accountability, especially in regards to money and time.

The Narcissist was there for good times but marriage actually required work, especially when I deposited my entire paycheck into our joint account and he had cash hidden away while also overdrafting our joint bank at the same time.

Dr. Jekyl to Mr. Hyde back and forths lead you to experience confusion, doubt, fear, anxiety, panic attacks, hyperventilation, and suicidal depression.

Living In Multiple Realities with The Narcissist

Since the Narcissist is not the same person and changes his personalities from Dr. Jekyl to Mr. Hyde multiple times a day and on top of that he gaslights you in order to manipulate you into believing you’re crazy, as well as projects his faults on you, you literally end up living in multiple realities and never knowing what’s going on in your life.

The Narcissist does this to you intentionally in order to render you mentally retarded. He wants you to be unable to trust yourself or make any decisions.

That’s why journaling was so important to me. I saw what was going on as I was reading my journals.

To stay grounded, you must maintain a journal, otherwise, the Narcissist will devastate you completely and pull you in and out of multiple realities as he wishes.

Journaling allows you to see what the Narcissist is doing to you.

Dissociation as a Survival Mechanism in Narcissistic Relationships 

I’ve witnessed several victims of Narcissistic Abuse “dissociate” while I was talking with them. It appears as they would “compartmentalize” their experiences. They may appear to be detached from their emotions, body, or immediate surroundings. That is the very substance of disassociation.

Dissociation is any of a wide array of experiences from mild detachment from immediate surroundings to more severe detachment from physical and emotional experiences. The major characteristic of all dissociative phenomena involves a detachment from reality, rather than a loss of reality as in psychosis.


Dissociation results from the trauma experienced in multiple forms within the Narcissistic Abuse relationship. Dissociation is an automatic and effective defense mechanism to overwhelming acute stress.

By dissociating, the Narcissistic Victim is able to endure her highly traumatic experience without having to fully experience it.

I did that. When I now read my journals, I am devastated by the experiences captured there, but at the time of living with the Narcissist, I was enduring it all without fully experiencing it, being partly disassociated, so I could at least go to work, cook, clean, and pay the bills.

I worked 50 miles away from the house and commuted many hours a day. I often wept in my car. At home, I was the only person cleaning a two-story house, the Narcissist didn’t even pay the bills, which piled up until I took care of them. At work, I had to work, and so disassociation was the only way for me to survive my narcissistic marriage.

This defense mechanism protects the Narcissistic Victim against total annihilation of the self when her nervous system is strained to the limit.

However, the long-term effect of dissociation is that it may decrease the victim’s psychological functioning and adjustment.

For me, the experience eventually resulted in psychomotor retardation and suicidal depression.

It took a long time to restore my cognitive functioning and to heal emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Narcissistic Abuse is very dangerous. I reached out for God’s help every day, and He reminded me who I am as a child of His, so I wrote an ebook called “What Does God Say About You?” to help you get rooted in your identity as a child of God. It’s free, you can download it now.

Anna Szabo Ebook Devotionals for Women #52Devotionals

Suicidal Ideation as an Attempt to Escape Narcissistic Abuse 

Every victim of Narcissistic Abuse I know experienced suicidal ideation.

For me, suicidal thoughts were intense and began after enduring the cruelty from the Narcissist for a few months.

I saw no hope and I was so exhausted, my nervous system was strained, and my brain was damaged by Gaslighting, Projection, and other mental cruelty techniques I was subjected to by the Narcosisit in order to confuse me and to mentally incapacitate me.

When I looked into my future and the Narcissist was there, I didn’t want to be in that kind of future. I wanted to die to escape the Narcissist’s trap and mental cruelty.

I wanted to die to stop my pain.

The abuser never quits abusing and the victim’s self-esteem gets worn down to the core until they go through a process of devaluation, dehumanization and dissociation. 

Psychological Murder

God saved me. In addition to seeing a secular Trauma Counselor every Friday, I was also seeing a Biblical Counselor every Wednesday.

My Biblical Counselor focused my attention on God’s promises, Spiritual Warfare and the Armor of God, and Identity in Christ.

The Narcissist’s very goal is to manipulate you into suicide. He wants to win with you and he hates you.

“The Narcissist wants you dead” – my trauma counselor told me. It was true.

He wanted to manipulate me through cruelty into suicide, but God stepped in and delivered me from the Narcissist’s mental trap, though it took a long time to untangle all my trauma.

Eventually, I was diagnosed with C-PTSD.

C-PTSD as the Result of Narcissistic Abuse

In 2016, I was diagnosed with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) as the result of the marriage with the Narcissist.

The symptoms of C-PTSD are often grouped into three main categories:

  1. Re-living (flashbacks, hallucinations, nightmares, etc)
  2. Avoiding (people, places, thoughts, events, etc)
  3. Increased Arousal (excessive emotions, difficulty in sleeping and concentrating, anxiety and panic attacks, etc)

If you’d like to understand C-PTSD as the result of Narcissistic Abuse relationship in more detail, here are some resources I put together for you:

C-PTSD is extremely complex and painful. You need help. I’m still dealing with it.

What helps me manage Narcissistic Abuse PTSD:

  • Prayer
  • Mindfulness
  • Journaling
  • Breathing
  • Kayaking
  • Meditation

Here is a C-PTDS Narcissistic Abuse recovery meditation I created with no background music, just my voice.

Here’s another C-PTSD meditation for Christian women, also created by me using my original Biblical affirmations called #52Devotionals

My C-PTSD meditations have no ads in them.

They are free for you to enjoy.

Echoism as the Result of Narcissistic Relationship Abuse

The Narcissist is exploitative, entitled, and lacks empathy. He is so addicted to feeling famous and special that he will do whatever it takes to get his needs for Narcissistic Supply met, no matter the cost.

You are emotionally sensitive, empathic, and sacrificial. You may become the Narcissist’s echo.

Echo fell in love with Narcissus, but all she could do was echo what he said, said to himself about his love toward himself.

Today, there’s a term in Phycology describing some Narcissistic Victims as echoists. This term was coined by Dr. Malkin.

Echoists as Narcissistic Victims experience the fear of being needy, special, or selfish.

Echoism is a trait that my colleagues and I have begun measuring, and like all traits, it exists to a greater or lesser degree in everyone.

People who score well above average in echoism qualify as echoists, and their defining characteristic is a fear of seeming narcissistic in any way.

Of all the people we measured, echoists were the most “warm-hearted,” but they were also afraid of becoming a burden, felt unsettled by attention, especially praise, and agreed with statements like, “When people ask me my preferences, I’m often at a loss.”

Where narcissists are addicted to feeling special, echoists are afraid of it. Echoists definitely struggle to have a voice of their own. 

Craig Malkin Ph.D.

It’s easy for the Narcissistic Victim to get trapped in the echoistic mindset and disregard her own needs, because the arrogant Narcissist projects his faults on her, so while it’s the Narcissist who is actually selfish, he blames his Narcissistic Victim for being selfish.

Ten Signs You’re a Victim of Narcissistic Abuse 

Ten signs you’re a victim of Narcissistic Abuse:

  1. He love-bombed you fast and now you feel trapped
  2. He switches his behavior from Dr. Dekyl to Mr. Hyde often
  3. He projects his faults on you to avoid responsibility and accountability
  4. He gaslights you to render you mentally incompetent and insane
  5. He gives you silent treatment every time you disagree with him
  6. He flips out and rages like a two-year-old with a temper tantrum
  7. He devalues you so you feel worthless and degraded
  8. He discards you like a tradable commodity, you feel dehumanized
  9. He makes you feel confused, exhausted, crazy, and doubtful
  10. He forces you into hopelessness, depression, and suicidal ideation

Narcissistic Abuse is devastating and dangerous. The Narcissist wants to confuse and destroy you. He attacks and manipulates your identity. He wants you to question who you are so he can make you feel insane and stupid, hopeless and suicidal.

What helped me survive Narcissistic Abuse was studying the Bible to see what God says about my identity. Discovering who I am according to the Bible helped me get grounded.

I wrote a FREE book about it to help other victims of Narcissistic Relationship Abuse.

Get grounded in your identity in Christ.

Don’t worry what Narcissist says about who you are.

Find out who Jesus says YOU are!

Download my FREE BOOK OF DEVOTIONALS #52Devotionals now.

You are God’s precious child, He chose you, He made you perfect in His image for His divine purpose, you’re smart, capable, decisive, and powerful in Christ. These are just a few Biblical affirmations you’ll find in my book.

The truth about your identity in Christ will set you free from the bondage with the Narcissist.

My Story of Narcissistic Abuse Relationship

My story of Narcissistic Abuse began when I met Michel on November 13th, 2015. I later found out from a friend that actually in January of 2015, eleven months prior to him meeting me, he saw me on Facebook and was inquiring about me already. He described me as “the girl in a red coat” sharing how later in May of that same year he also arranged to be at the church event my friend and I were attending, but we passed him by, so he didn’t get to meet me.

Eleven months later, we met and talked for about four hours.

We discussed our past, he shared about his divorce but never mentioned that he changed his last name after the divorce.

He shared how he was a MoneyWise mentor at North Point Church, so we talked about budgeting, as well as celibacy, and our Christian values. I was into Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and Baby Steps, zero-dollar budget, and debt-free journey.

He was an “amazing godly man” who love-bombed me from day one.

Michel was attentive, wise, worked at North Point Church, officiated weddings, always talked about the Bible, spoke proudly about being a graduate of Metro Atlanta Seminary, and overall he appeared grounded, solid, and mature. He definitely appeared mentally stable at the time.

In January on 2016, he signed us up for pre-engagement counseling called Right Start at Perimeter Church. That month, he proposed to me.

On May 14th, 2016 we were married.

I Lived Through Narcissistic Abuse Cycle

Prior to our wedding, we remodeled the house Michel lived in, which was old, filthy, and health-hazardous.

In our premarital counseling, Michel stated that the house was a foreclosure and a bachelor-cave, that he waited to get married to remodel it, and that he wanted to make it home for us by renovating it.

For such statements, he was praised by our pre-marital counselors as “a godly man” and he loved the praise.

He shared how he went to seek mentorship regarding remodeling at Perimeter Church, and that his mentor Dave McNeely told him that he needed to prepare the house to be home for our marriage and remodel it.

We demolished everything on the inside and rebuilt bathrooms, floors, ceilings, shelving, etc.

I paid thousands of dollars to renovate the house in order to make it a home and I worked over 100 hours to make it happen.

The house was not finished for our wedding, so after we were married, I moved into an unfinished-construction house, which was never completed.


After our wedding, Michel began flipping out on me and raging about the house saying it was always beautiful and he never wanted to remodel it and that it was my fault that he got into remodeling.

Michel called me “high-maintenance.”

The house was located at Adair Park in Cumming. I worked in Decatur. I commuted 100 miles a day (50 miles each way). I spent about 4-5 hours a day commuting to go to work.

The house was an 1800 sq. ft. and two-story tall.

After the wedding, I had two fall injuries – one time I fell at work and one night I fell off the stairs in that house.

I was injured and completely alone, in an unfinished, abandoned house, with moving boxes everywhere.

Michel’s response was “Ask our neighbor Jerry to help you.”

Later, he started demanding that we sell the house for profit, which was confusing because we just moved in after remodeling it for months to live there as a married couple.

He then filed for divorce and sold the house for profit.


In premarital counseling, we were advised to have a joined bank account to deposit our paychecks and have joint finances.

In his premarital counseling assessments, tests, and questionnaires, Michel claimed to be debt-free, have no credit card or any other debt, except the mortgage.

I did as I was advised and deposited all my money into our joint checking account after we got married.

Soon, I found out that Michel kept cash away from me.

Opening the pile of mail revealed that Michel had not just a credit card but multiple credit cards with balances ranging in thousands of dollars, unpaid for months, and he didn’t pay the mortgage for three periods.

I quickly discovered that not only did Michel not follow the principles of budgeting and managing money taught at MoneyWise (where he claimed to be a financial mentor to the North Point Church community), but he also never had a budget, spent money carelessly without tracking it, and didn’t even pay his bills.

My paycheck was now spent on IronMan bicycle repairs amounting to $300, IronKits costing a few hundred dollars each, new cell phone, regular outings with coworkers, and so on.

Conversations about budgeting resulted in Michel’s flipping out and raging, calling me “high-maintenance,” then abusing me with Silent Treatment.


Michel and I spent time together during courting regularly: parks, movies, book stores, picnics, and just talking face-to-face, which we both enjoyed.

Quality time was discussed extensively during our pre-engagement and premarital counseling.

We talked about the details of how we would spend time together after getting married.

As soon as we got married, Michel called me “high-maintenance,” abandoned our relationship, and went on to chase IronMan medals.

We didn’t have a honeymoon.

There was not even one weekend we spent together in our marriage (without doing IronMan).

Soon, Michel told me that, if I wanted to see him (that was my husband who was saying this), I would need to come to Alpharetta Life Time and watch him swim for IronMan, otherwise, he had no time.

His friend Anna messaged me on Facebook informing me that I was married to a dead man and that in the IronMan community I was called an Iron-Widow.

It was just a few days after our wedding.

I did see that, indeed, I was a widow.

I was married to a dead man, Anna was right.


Before we got married, when Michel said he’d do something, he’d do it.

After we got married, Michel told me that there should be no expectations of him at all.

He gave me DVDs to watch to teach me how expectations are bad in marriage.

In July of 2016, we were celebrating Michel’s Birthday. He told me no one ever celebrated his birthday, so I organized a party for him.

It was at 4 pm.

At the time, I was injured physically so I was slow in movement, but I did my best.

Early in the morning that day, before 6 am, Michel was gone to do IronMan. He had promised to go to the store, get the things we needed for his party, and be home by 2 pm. He never showed up and didn’t even answer the phone.

Around 4 pm, Michel showed up sweaty and stinky (he explained to me that IronMan participants pee on themselves), and when I asked him what happened, he flipped out, yelled, cussed at me, and I was crying upstairs in the bedroom from all the confusion and hurt when the guests started showing up.

Michel welcomed with the smile and I was expected to do the same, which I did.


Prior to us getting married, Michel was very careful, watchful, and observant.

He knew that I always locked the door at home and that safety was important to me.

After we got married, Michel gave the access to our house to strangers and kept the house wide open, which of course I addressed with him, to which he flipped out and blamed me for being too demanding.

Michel called me “high-maintenance.”


Before we got married, Michel and I could talk for hours.

Our conversations were interesting, and he was engaged. He spoke clearly and made sense.

After we got married, Michel was on the phone or laptop as I tried to talk to him. When I asked to have meaningful conversations face-to-face without electronics, Michel called me “high-maintenance.”

When he did talk, he mostly mumbled and made no sense, giving me a word salad.

Such topics as paying bills on time, budgeting, planning quality time, and working on our marriage were of no interest to Michel and resulted in him flipping out and raging at me.

Narcissistic Abuse I was enduring was hard to recognize and pinpoint as I lived through it daily and it was affecting my mental health. I didn’t want to leave Michel.

I wanted to honor God with our marriage, so I sought counseling.

Mourning Dove Counseling

On June 14th, 2016 I conducted a Physiology Today research seeking a Christian marriage counselor.

I found a couple.

I called and spoke with Gary, the husband.

That’s how we started our marriage counseling.

Later, in my divorce jury trial, when testifying on a witness stand, Gary stated that it was Michel who reached out to him seeking marriage counseling.

The man I was married to never actually showed up for counseling but his mask did, which was not helpful.

The couple who did counseling was arguing among themselves and even flipping out on each other.

The wife shared how she was on an allowance and didn’t have access to their finances. They didn’t follow Biblical principles in their own relationship and weren’t able to help us at all.

They eventually told me they can’t help. I had realized on my own by then already.

I sought Bible-based counseling.

Next, I reached out to Berean Biblical Counseling.

Berean Counseling

Pastor Pat who initially talked to me sent both of us a separate questionnaire to complete. He wanted to mentor us both weekly and needed to understand the marriage situation.

I am sharing with you my exact answers, unedited, as they were submitted to Pastor Pat as well as the jurors in our divorce trial.

Reading these answers, you will be able to identify cognitive dissonance which is so common among Narcissistic Victims. You will see the split within my psyche.

You will also notice how mental cruelty and lack of responsibility and accountability all play out in the Narcissistic Abuse relationship.

Confusion and hopelessness will also be clearly visible to you from the answers below, as well as Narcissistic Discarding and Narcissistic Silent Treatment.

If you read this full article up to this point, in the answers below you will be able to also identify Narcissistic Victim Syndrome.

What is your problem? What brings you here?

I got married to an amazing man who promised in this video to love me as Christ loved His church.

He loved spending quality time with me, such as walk and hold my hand, take me to movies, read books and ask each other questions, share about our lives, go to the gym together, do work together, cook and eat together, and most importantly, pray together and talk about God.

We remodeled the whole house together on a frugal budget, negotiated together with Wayfair about every faucet and bathtub and a light fixture. It was fun. We were a team! 

We built this home with the idea that we will read every day together, and he even asked me: “Never let me stop reading to you”… We built our dining room to host book clubs and church groups and have a 144-inch table!

We discussed what kind of lifestyle we’d have together after getting married during premarital counseling, and we were on the same page about everything. 

I am married to a careless, disconnected, absent man who comes back home on Friday night at 11 pm, leaves every Saturday at 4 am and returns around 7 or 8 pm. 

I’m married to a guy I never see and I don’t know him.

The guy who lives in my house is like a Ghost. I can’t even remember what he looks like. He doesn’t want to spend time with me and says in response to my request to grow our relationship: “I just don’t have time for it, I have a job and my IronMan training.”

This guy who lives here with me says he doesn’t want to make love to me because he needs his energy for his IronMan training.

This stranger never wants to pray with me, and sadly, he says about his BIKE, yes, a bike: “Look at my other wife I cheat on you with”

This guy is selfish and most of all he is single. 

So, what brings me in today is that I am married to a single guy.

When a man has a mistress, he spends about 15 hours away from his family. This man in my house spends 50 hours away cheating on me with a bike…. He lives the lifestyle of a single man, every day, and others see it. Our neighbors see it. The counselors we went to see it… All my friends are shocked and sad and many insist that I move out of this disrespect and misery. 

There has never EVER since we got married been a Saturday when he’d plan something for us or spend time with me. He’s always gone. He told me before we got married he’d want dates every Friday. It never happened. 

We are not one. We don’t talk. We don’t know each other.

We are very angry at each other because I want to be married and live a married lifestyle since that’s what we chose, but he wants to live his single lifestyle, and it’s so painful, I just want OUT. 

And I feel tempted, he never has sex with me and I’m young and beautiful and I am a sophisticated professional woman who’s always around people, including men.. And I don’t know what to do, except just cry every night and on my commute… 

He doesn’t want to read or pray or walk together.

What he wants is money to take me out to expensive restaurants, movies, etc, but I don’t want any of it, I’m interested in 1:1 quality time with my husband getting to know each other. But he isn’t interested. 

His anger outbursts are very sudden and scary. I don’t know how to interact with him and recently he wanted to ask for my forgiveness for his anger and ego… Well, he sent me en EMAIL saying “I’m sorry.”

I moved to a guest bedroom and I never see him, he always leaves at 4 am, and I get up at 4 am and I leave at 5 am for work, and I come back around 5-6 pm and he’s either not home or already in his bed. 

We combined all of our finances together, only he has some secret credit cards he doesn’t tell me about and doesn’t answer my financial questions. I don’t have access to our mortgage account because they won’t give me any info about it unless he authorizes my name, and he keeps me in the dark. 

He communicates via text when it’s convenient for him. 

I found out by opening OUR mail that he had 3 months outstanding mortgage payment and he said he’s just busy with his IronMan training and had no time to deal with this. 

Excuse me?!

He also had 2 months outstanding payment for life insurance and the whole total was $3400 that was due 9/2 and I had to pay it. 

He asked me to never open HIS mail.

I get mail and hide it now to make sure no bills are missed. 

He wants HIS food, HIS time, HIS mail, HIS money, he only does HIS priorities and if I wanted to be with him before, I had to go to where HIS exercise took place and just be there.

I have my own career and money and my salary is more than his, I am an award-winning author and speaker, I always lived in the city and was involved in church and served community.

This man brought me in the country and left me not just alone but LONELY. He stole my whole life, everything! All I do is drive in traffic to be waiting for him in Cumming to wake up and love me one day, and we don’t even go to church! 

I started going to church close to home on my own and signed up to volunteer there. 

But what is this thing? This is not marriage.

I loved having Jesus as my husband so much more than Michel.

I had peace and at least I could go anywhere I want, now I want to respect Michel so I just sit around and wait for this Ghost who cheats on me and has been since we got married. 

In my 4 months of marriage we had sex probably 10 times.

Is this even normal?

Is it normal to get angry out of the blue at your wife and disconnect for weeks?

Is it ok to get married yet keep your single lifestyle the whole time? 

I really want to get out but I also want to honor God.

When we went to counseling, he never did any exercises and told me there’s just no time for it and he’s busy with IronMan training.

It’s been just getting worse and worse and I just want out. 

What have you done about it? 

I talked to him.

I went to counseling but with them he’s always nice, so he never revealed his anger and they always defended him because they never really saw his anger or rage and think he’s saint.

I have multiple plans I do daily on YouVersion app about marriage, love, patience, trusting God, and peace. 

I pray every morning, always in my car and during my commute which is 4-5 hours a day, I pray at night, journal to keep my sanity but also because I don’t have anyone to talk to here in the country, and I go to church, read Little Crazy Thing Called Marriage, and listen to the Love and Respect podcast.

I tried so hard to keep my peace with him but it’s a two-way street and I have to recognize my boundaries and that I am not responsible for his behaviors and actions or mood swings. 

He told me earlier in our marriage that I never want to see him angry out of control “like my sister did”, he said, it sounded threatening, so I just moved out to a different bedroom to stay away.

One time I went to him and tried to snuggle because affection is my love language and I’ve been starved, but he never even touched me or even said anything, so I left and never tried again. 

His love language is words of affirmation, so I wrote pages and pages of what I value about him, but he also has multiple love notes from me that I found unopened, so he doesn’t care. 

My life is miserable and I am getting depressed and hopeless. I made a mistake.

But also, when we talked during premarital counseling, he said about pastors who cheated that it is a sin that can be forgiven and I asked him if he’d be comfortable cheating since that’s his thinking… Anyway, I have no idea where he usually is all day and Friday night… If you know what I’m saying… 

What do you want us to do? What are your expectations in coming here?

I’m confused.

The truth is I want out. I want to undo the I DO, but I know marriage is sacred to God and that He hates divorce, I want to be faithful to God.

I have been listening about Spiritual Warfare and I have been trying to guard my heart with scripture, but I feel so hurt, abandoned, dismissed, lonely, and rejected.

I’m a trophy wife to him, he saw me on Facebook and wanted to marry me right away, he did and now he thinks I can just hang on his wall for the rest of his life so people can tell him: “Wow, look at your “medal” wife, how did you get this thing?” and I know when I came to his office one day he told me that’s what his co-workers were saying, so I’m a trophy.

His identity comes from IronMan recognition and medals, not Christ.

He goes to bed and instead of reading Bible he listens to the song THE WORLD’S GONNA KNOW YOUR NAME.

He wants his videos and pictures liked on Facebook and spends hours a day chatting on Facebook, even while driving his car, which is why we pay $500/m for life insurance. 

I can’t give him medals and I don’t have medals to give. And loving me as his wife at home won’t make the world to know his name either… And that’s a problem for him. 

I want guidance: specific actions for us to take to start healing and change, but also accountability, because the minute we’d be out of our counseling session, he’d go back on Facebook and chat, would tell me he’s tired to talk, doesn’t have time for meaningful marriage exercises, and is busy.

There hasn’t been even slight positive change when we did counseling.

He needs a grownup married man to be his mentor.

Most of his friends are single and send him their sexual fantasies via text and pictures of poop saying “I’m pooping and thinking of you” and he laughs. 

I’m looking for hope, some positive change. 

What brings you here at this time? 

My commitment to God and desire to make my marriage work. 

Is there any other information we should know?

We are both healthy, have no kids, have great jobs, a home, cars, food, yet he tells me he is starving and how come he can’t buy whatever he wants to buy?

I wonder if he’s a boy and maybe he’s totally immature. I’m so confused. This is a sad situation.

I want to submit to him and for that he needs to lead, but unpaid bills, hidden credit cards, addiction to his bike and medals and never being around all make me think: should I just pick up and leave? Did I marry a little boy? What kind of situation is this? 


And we both love God but then how come bikes and medals are more important than what He ordered us to do when it comes to our marriage? 

I don’t even know how to think about this…

Anna Szabo’s Application for Berean Counseling 9/3/2016

Pastor Pat invited Michel and me to talk on the phone. On that conference call, Michel stated that he was not interested in our marriage and was seeking a divorce.

On September 25th, 2016 at a Christian conference called “Harvest” hosted by Greg Laurie at the Infinite Energy Arena I was served with Michel’s divorce summons as he was finishing his third IronMan.

There was no other marriage counseling I sought after that but I did need help to go through life, and I knew it had to be Bible-based help. I didn’t have articles like this to read and understand my situation. I needed mentorship and perspective.

Has this content helped you? Donate to support this blog.

Pastor Pat introduced me to Tammy who counseled me 1:1 and helped me focus on such important topics as Spiritual Warfare, Armor of God, God’s Promises, and, most importantly, my Identity in Christ.

Eventually, I was so severely traumatized that I had to begin trauma counseling with Terri Freeman.

Freeman Counseling

I saw Tammy on Wednesdays and I saw Terri on Fridays.

Terri was the one who interviewed me extensively, ran assessments, and diagnosed me with Narcissistic Abuse Victim Syndrome.

She explained to me what I was going through and introduced me to some community resources to help me.

My trauma counselor diagnosed me with C-PTSD.

I later stopped going to Terri due to the cognitive dissonance I was suffering from: Terri was persuading me to run for my life but I loved Michel and wanted to honor God, so I stayed.

I continued seeing Tammy and working through Biblical counseling.

In November on 2016, Michel dismissed that first divorce.

Five weeks later, I was served with his second divorce summons.

Tammy helped me focus on God as I was surviving Narcissistic Abuse.

I Developed Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome

I suffered from confusion and paralyzing doubt inflicted on me by the Narcissist through careful mental manipulation.

For example, outsourcing me as his wife to his neighbor Jerry along with all his household duties. Jerry was his next-door neighbor. After our wedding, I moved in, with all the moving boxes on the first floor. However, at that point, I was abandoned in an unfinished-construction, two-story house. I am size zero, so moving heavy boxes around the two-story house and finishing construction isn’t something suitable for me. Jerry was asked by my new husband to help finish house remodeling construction, unpack the boxes after moving, take heavy trash out, mow the lawn, and so much more. It was confusing. One reality was that I was married to Michel, whom I did actually marry, but who was not around and didn’t accept his role as my husband. The other reality was that I was married to the next-door neighbor Jerry who was around daily and took care of our household responsibilities outsourced to him by Michel.

I suffered from debilitating anxiety and decision-making paralysis from being subjected by the Narcissist to mental manipulation through Narcissistic Gaslighting and Projection.

For example, condemning me for his own overspending and overdrafting our bank account. When we got married and combined finances, I immediately learned that all his talk about being a MoneyWise coach at North Point Church was an Ego-puffing bluff. He actually had no budget and he had never created a budget. He didn’t have budgeting skills and he had a pile of unpaid bills and thousands of dollars of undisclosed debt that I was shockingly discovering every day. I begged that we create a budget and adhere to it. He said he didn’t have time and asked me to create it and send it to him for approval, which I did. He spent about one second reviewing it and responded instantly: “I approve.” I asked him if he actually reviewed the budget and will actually adhere to it. He flipped out. Just a few days later, I found out that our bank account was overdrafted by him because he overspent hundreds of dollars. He then overdrafted the account multiple times all while keeping cash away from me for himself. He told me: “You can’t even manage money properly, it was the first job I gave you!” He was manipulative with his Gaslighting techniques, very condescending, clever, eloquent, and through the careful Projection of his faults, he managed to make me feel guilty for his overspending. I was debilitated by anxiety eventually from these experiences of mental cruelty.

I suffered from detachment and disassociation inflicted on me by the Narcissist by subjecting me to Narcissistic Discarding tactics.

For example, asking me: “How can I get rid of you?” following our wedding, after he filed for his second divorce in our first few months of marriage. Then, he began the trashcan drama: when I was at work, he’d place a large trash cant right where I normally parked my car so that I wouldn’t be able to get out when coming home from work. This was only one small example but a combination of such behaviors, to which I was subjected regularly, caused so much emotional pain that I began not being myself, detaching, and disassociating from myself to survive his mental cruelty.

I struggled with insomnia and fatigue from the sleep abuse inflicted on me by the Narcissist.

For example, intentionally opening and closing, opening and closing, opening and closing that garage door at night, which caused laud noises and the shaking of the bed. This subjected me to sleep deprivation and insomnia and was one of the causes of suicidal depression and psychomotor retardation I eventually experienced.

I was sick physically from all the stress, Narcissistic Gaslighting, Projection, Silent Treatment, Sleep Abuse, Discarding, and other mental cruelty tactics imposed on me.

I struggled with severely suicidal depression, I didn’t want to live after being subjected to all the lies and cruelty.

For example, one time, he asked me to sign us up for a married couples small group at a new small church next to our marital residence in Cumming. On the day of the group meeting, he didn’t show up. As the meeting was taking place and every couple was introducing themselves, I was alone. Then, sleepy Michel showed up and started pretending like we were happy newlyweds. He put on his mask and was puffing his Ego right in front of me, lying to all the people in the room. Living through the deception was too much. But I was also now publicly manipulated to buy into his stories aimed to deceive others. I told everyone what the truth was and Michel got up and left. Manipulations of reality like this one example allowed Michel to pull me into multiple realities, so I never knew what was going on, which caused confusion, foggy-mindedness from debilitating doubt of everything, and complete mental chaos.

I struggled with a lack of confidence and loss of interest in people and activities, which resulted from experiencing Narcissistic Devaluation.

For example, Michel told me that if I wanted to be with him, I’d need to come to LifeTime in Alpharetta to watch him swim. He said he had no time for me otherwise. I did what he asked, and after that, I inquired if we could talk. He flipped out and said there was no reason for him to talk to me. I felt devalued, dehumanized, and disregarded. One after another, situations like this piled up and I was completely devasted in every sense of my being, confused in my head, and severely suicidal.

I Can Share These Narcissistic Abuse Examples

Narcissistic Abuse in relationships is hard to understand. At first, you think the cruelty you endured was a one-off and it was unintentional.

Only later, after consistent and well-premeditated mental cruelty has inflicted much suffering on you, will you start wondering if you’re being abused. It’s done to you in ways that are well-thought-through by the Narcissist whose goal is to slowly such the life out of you and force you to commit suicide. Gaslighting is leveraged to make you doubt everything, including the fact of the abuse you CAN eventually recognize.

When it comes to Narcissistic Gaslighting, it is difficult to pinpoint and identify right away. Over time, so much damage has been done, by the time you can recognize and explain gaslighting you’ve been enduring, you’ve already been rendered by the Narcissist as mentally-incompetent and insane.

This is the very reason I am about to share with you just some of the examples of the Narcissistic Abuse inflicted on me.

These were submitted to my divorce jury.

Court documents are public records. You can access them by providing the following case numbers for the two divorces Michel filed in our first few months of marriage:

Michel Szabo vs Anna Szabo 16CV-1802-2

Michel Szabo vs Anna Szabo 17CV-0058-2

Forsyth County

The following are the excerpts from my divorce court submissions.

I’m just going to copy and paste so that you can see some examples of how Narcissistic Abuse unfolds in relationships.

Michel Szabo vs Anna Szabo 17CV-0058-2 IR Exhibit 3 – Cruel Treatment 

  • Ongoing explosive anger outbursts (some memorable instances are 5/21/16 The Sex Talk about My Fear of Michel [IR Exhibit 41], 7/16/16 Michel’s birthday Party, 8/31/16 the Money Talk, 11/27/17 Driving Back from AL, 12/5/16 The Rage Explosion after which I Left for 2 Weeks to Stay with Fran, 1/1/17 The How Can I Get Rid of You Explosion when Michel Demanded I Leave), causing emotional distress, confusion, fear & anxiety, especially from knowing Michel was intentionally hurting me “because of ego”, according to his email to me where he admitted it [IR Exhibit 28 & IR Exhibit 44]
  • Threats of violence: verbally threatening me that he’ll do something bad to me like he did to his sister (June 2016) [IR  Exhibit 29] Threatening me again saying he was not in his right mind and if he were me, he’d leave, resulting in emotional distress, fear, and anxiety (September 22, 2016) [IR  Exhibit 30]
  • Stalking: putting a ladder outside my bathroom window to look in and when I asked to remove, he laughed and never removed until next door neighbor Jerry approached me with shock asking why the ladder was there to look into my bathroom window and he removed it. This incident resulted in severe emotional distress, fears of stalking, and feeling that I am under 24/7 surveillance (September 2016)
  • Withholding sex intentionally [IR Exhibit 44 & IR Exhibit 47], knowing how much it hurt me because we only had sex 10 times in 4 months of marriage, saying he was saving energy for IronMan, consistently telling me: “I need my energy for my training” verbally and texting me sex refusals “No, I have training” [IR Exhibit 29 & IR  Exhibit 31], causing confusion as to why I was traded in for a bicycle, depression and self-doubt
  • Calling his bike “My other wife I cheat on you with” to my face when visiting me at Emory for lunch [IR Exhibit 29 & IR Exhibit 34 ], causing pain, confusion as to why I was traded in for a bicycle and why he is laughing while I’m so hurt, which only demonstrated the intentionality of his emotional abuse, resulting in depression & anxiety
  • Exposing me to danger by giving strangers the code to enter our house when I sleep there alone, naked, unarmed, and uninformed without even informing me (September 22, 2016, according to Wayne, the general contractor, who appeared in the house with his own access code, while his whole team does meth and Michel knows it)
  • Cutting off my access to NEST at 94F outside (September 22, 2016) [IR  Exhibit 32] 
  • Not allowing me to use AC (January 18, 2017) [IR  Exhibit 18]
  • Not allowing me to use heat in the house: Having heat set in NEST at low temperature at night 10/26/16 at 56F, 10/2716 at 56F, 11/17/16 at 61F, 11/28/16 at 51F, just some examples, resulting in my waking up cold, coughing, and having to beg Michel for heat [IR Exhibit 32]
  • Leaving me in the middle of unfinished construction for months knowing I needed a settled home and a nest as a woman and as I always had (unfinished construction as of this writing in February 2017)
  • Overspending, overdrafting checking account (USAA) or leaving it with zero in August of 2016 [IR Exhibit 9 & IR Exhibit 31]
  • Forsaking or refusing to attend to his household duties: to mow the lawn & other heavy-lifting labor I’m unable to perform due to my injuries, forcing me to do that labor and aggravate my back injuries by mowing the lawn [IR Exhibit 33] Outsourcing me as his wife to a next-door neighbor Jerry daily, having Jerry do all the household chores 1:1 with me, which I expressed to Michel was inappropriate 
  • Being absent from the marriage, rejecting affection [IR Exhibit 47], companionship, refusing to be with me or talk or humanly interact with me, being gone and dedicating all his time away from work to IronMan activities, causing me to feel rejected, abandoned, unworthy, confused, disoriented, depressed, hopeless & pained [IR Exhibits 13-18, IR Exhibit 22-25, IR Exhibit 29 & IR Exhibit 40]
  • Intentionally refusing to communicate in reasonable ways with me as his spouse since August 31, 2016 through November 23, 2016 and then December 6, 2016 till present time, 6 months out of 10 months of marriage [IR Exhibits 13-18,  IR Exhibit 20, IR Exhibit 22-25, IR Exhibit 27 & IR Exhibit 29]
  • Ignoring or avoiding intentionally my household / money / time related questions, not making himself available for those conversations, except one time when we sat down to create Managing God’s Money spreadsheet [IR Exhibit 35], he asked me to do it, when I was ready to talk, I moved my laptop and he was asleep… Because the topic was never appropriately addressed since he never made himself available, he caused me to beg him consistently to sit down and talk about the topics, which caused ongoing emotional suffering & depression, as well as financial suffering [IR Exhibits 13-18, IR Exhibit 29]
  • Taking advantage of me sexually in my sleep: getting into my bedroom on October 5, 2016 at 3 am AFTER he had filed for divorce and while I’m sleepy, taking advantage of me sexually after I told him in writing  that we will not have sex because he is getting a divorce and he must stop walking around the house naked with his erection on in front of me, while talking to me with his erection on, which caused psychological suffering impairing my mental health [IR Exhibit 27 & IR Exhibit 34]
  • Gaslighting – a manipulative tactic utilized to distort and erode a victim’s sense of reality; it eats away at her ability to trust herself and inevitably disables her from feeling justified in calling out abuse and mistreatment: 
    1. Texting me 8/3/16 “At what time are you leaving work?” and going  into the discussion of his wondering what to cook. He said he wanted to make me dinner to “honor” me. It was just another time when Michel used big phrases, such as “I want to honor you”, “I want to sacrifice myself for my wife as Christ loved the church” [IR Exhibit 36], etc, which made me feel so confused, because the reality was that Michel was dishonoring me daily and dishonoring his marriage too, but, listening to him [IR Exhibit 31], and how genuinely he always made those big statements, I did not know what reality to believe in my own mind: the one I was living, which was awful, or the one Michel was painting with his words, which was so sweet and luring. I felt disoriented because of such a mismatch between his nice words and betraying actions
    2. Getting me a tea kettle 11/7/16  – act of kindness, but when I went upstairs and thanked him, he shot the door in my face – abuse, which caused me to doubt myself and my understanding of reality
    3. Buying me 2 bottles of Kefir 11/16/16  – act of kindness, yet stonewalling me at the same time at home – silent passive-aggressive abuse, leading me to feel confused, anxious, and depressed 
    4. Telling me how he did not want to cancel my gym membership at his expensive gym and insisting that he loves going there with me [IR Exhibit 31], but in reality we only went there 4 times in our entire marriage together and when he saw me and I wanted to hug him, he would push me away 
    5. Telling me and texting me that I was his priority, not IronMan when in reality he spent 2 hours maximum interacting with me each week while he spent 3-4 hours every day training for IronMan, every Saturday he was gone from 4 am till about 2 pm and then would go to bed, except 2 times when he cooked [IR Exhibit 21-22, IR Exhibit 40 & IR Exhibit 46]
    6. Disappearing from the house [IR Exhibit 20], leaving me alone at night, and when I would lock the garage door hoping no one can open it from the outside, he’d open it and then lock it in my face and open easily showing me that I was not safe and it was not a big deal to open the locked door, causing me to feel unsafe and never be able to relax in my bedroom, remembering how on 10/5/16 he took advantage of me sexually in my sleep and knowing he was easily opening the locked door with the same lock, causing me to feel fear and anxiety
    7. Calling me on my cell to talk, while typing on his computer, which I could hear, and when asked if he was typing while calling me, he’d become defensive and yell “How about you cut me some slack?!”, which would always leave me feeling confused and doubting reality since he’d say he wanted to talk to his wife yet would multitask and do work at the same time, causing me to feel worthless as if I am not worthy of his attention, thinking why would he call when busy in the first place, which was confusing and hurtful
    8. 8/8/16 I prepared separate lunches for both Michel and me, as always. Michel’s diet is different from mine. When I was ready to take my food, he was already gone and he took my food as I just then realized, so I had nothing to take with me.  I texted him about it. I went to get food at lunch and could not pay for it. It said my debit card didn’t have any money. I logged into our checking account and there was zero there. I texted Michel that we needed to talk. Michel texted me that after he bought his new phone he did not even have access to the bank account. I was shocked, just realizing the money was overspent because Michel did not even bother to monitor his own bank account. I was speechless. And he texted me: “The first job I gave you was the money”….. I felt like I could not breathe… I could not believe my eyes: he was condemning me for his overspending money while he was not even monitoring his spending in any way and he was clearly saying it was my fault and I failed…. I was so confused. He made me feel responsible for his overspending, responsible for him never reading the budget he asked me to create, just saying “Yes, I approve” and then never following the budget. I was confused, doubting my sanity [IR Exhibit 31].
  • Silent abuse – starting in August 2016, ignoring me, except when convenient for him to talk, only about what he wanted to talk, gone for weeks without talking, even when I was trying to engage him about marriage responsibilities, he’d avoid me and just ignore me, remaining silent until some day he’d decide to talk about what he needed, then go silent again [IR Exhibits 13-18, IR Exhibit 22-25, IR Exhibit 29], causing hurt, anxiety, confusion, and depression
  • Lying to create an impression of multiple realities: telling me in-person and via text, including during marriage counseling at Mourning Dove, that 2016 was the last year of his IronMan competition participation [IR Exhibit 40], as he also promised during premarital counseling, then saying to Joe and Sheila during our sushi dinner on 8/12/16 how he planned his IronMan participation beyond 2016 [IR Exhibits 21-22, IR Exhibit 29, IR Exhibit 31 & IR Exhibit 46]  Texting me then in September “You knew I was an IronMan and now you want to change who I am” and then telling me on October 5th, 2016 “Sorry, I’m just not interested in this marriage, all I want is to be an IronMan”, which was so confusing, making me feel like I was crazy, I was doubting my reality, because in the reality I lived in Michel promised before we got married that the 2016 IronMan season was his last one, but in the  reality Michel was presenting in our marriage, the future IronMan participation was a done deal, I just was unsure who and how and when decided that, but my lack of awareness that the future IronMan was a given seemed to make Michel very angry. I was confused and I was depressed and paralyzed by anxiety as I was unsure what was reality anymore and Michel was switching his personalities faster than I could keep up with his multiple personalities [IR Exhibit 25  & IR Exhibit 29]
  • Projection – a defense mechanism used to displace responsibility of one’s negative behavior and traits by attributing them to someone else. It ultimately acts as a digression that avoids ownership and accountability:
    1. Taking on a home improvement loan on 2/19/2016 at SunTrust to remodel the house “because David McNelly told” him it was his obligation (so Michel told me, Ruth & Norm during premarital counseling), yet throughout marriage always texting me victim-like statements, such as “the debt I took on at no will of my own” as if his decision to take on debt was my fault or became my fault somehow [IR Exhibit 31 & IR Exhibit 37] 
    2. Making me beg him for months to setup a gym for me to workout at home as we had agreed before because that’s what I’d always done, dismissing my questions if he could help me setup my home gym, avoiding the topic, and when Jerry decided to help me with the home gym (Jerry is color blind), Michel texted him to paint the room with primer instead of paint, which I did not know that Michel set it up, so I texted him in shock that the room was painted with primer saying I was “so so so sorry” and he texted me back as if he was very gracious “It’s ok” insisting later that I repaint the room pretending it was my fault 
    3. Asking me in his text messages if I wanted him to quit IronMan, which he knew I’d never ask, because it was his life and his prioritization responsibility, but he knew by asking he made it seem as if I was his priority and he was willing to sacrifice, but in reality he abandoned his marriage and he sacrificed his marriage for IronMan every day [Exhibit 31]
    4. Setting NEST to 56F consistently making me wakeup coughing [IR Exhibit 32], yet texting me he had nothing to do with it, every time, making me feel like NEST did it by itself and Michel wasn’t responsible
    5. Asking me on 8/3/16 via text messages if he needed to clean the sides of the fireplace he was working on to restore after the remodeling [Exhibit 31], which was interesting… I thought: why would you only do some part of the job and not all the job, especially when it’s your own home. And this became a pattern – Michel would ask every little thing that needed to be fixed “Do I need to fix it?” so it always looked as if I were overwhelming him with requests, when in reality cleaning a fireplace meant cleaning a fireplace and not a part of a fireplace. It was one request, not several requests. Actually I should not have even made any such requests, since it was Michel’s home and cleaning his own fireplace is not a favor to me, but Michel never did anything a thing around the house, unless I begged him and he’d always make me feel at fault for asking him and as if I owed him for doing his chores
    6. 8/8/16 I prepared separate lunches for both Michel and me, as always. Michel’s diet is different from mine. When I was ready to take my food, he was already gone and he took my food as I just then realized, so I had nothing to take with me.  I texted him about it. I went to get food at lunch and could not pay for it. It said my debit card didn’t have any money. I logged into our checking account and there was zero there. I texted Michel that we needed to talk. Michel texted me that after he bought his new phone he did not even have access to the bank account. I was shocked, just realizing the money was overspent because Michel did not even bother to monitor his own bank account. I was speechless. And he texted me: “The first job I gave you was the money”….. I felt like I could not breathe… I could not believe my eyes: he was condemning me for his overspending money while he was not even monitoring his spending in any way and he was clearly saying it was my fault and I failed…. I was so confused. He made me feel responsible for his overspending, responsible for him never reading the budget he asked me to create, just saying “Yes, I approve” and then never following the budget. I was confused, doubting my sanity [IR Exhibit 31] 
  • Abandonment: abandoned me at the house, leaving me there alone for many days and nights in a row, with no security, alarm system, no blinds, with glass door where neighbors look inside the  house from the street [IR Exhibit 20]

These are just some examples of Narcissistic Abuse in relationships, which I was able to put together while taking care of sick Michel who at the time of this divorce preparation was suffering from the flu.

If you read the above examples, you will be able to see what Narcissistic Gaslighting, Projection, Devaluing, and Discarding look like in a Narcissistic Abuse relationship.

I hope these real-life descriptions of Narcissistic Abuse cycle help you answer the question “What is Narcissistic Abuse?” and allow you to insightfully reflect on your own situation.

The damage, which was done to my psyche, mental and physical health, as well as my brain functioning, was significant and long-lasting.

Narcissistic Abuse recovery is taking years for me.

Yet, I live a joyful life by embracing God’s Word.

Spiritual Gifts - Anna Szabo of Online Discipleship for Women

I Went to Narcissistic Abuse Therapy

The road to joy after Narcissistic Abuse was a long one. Healing from narcissistic emotional abuse required some serious help.

I went to the trauma counselor who was recommended to me by a former friend for her work with Narcissistic Abuse victims.

Narcissistic Abuse therapist helped me see my situation for what it was.

The only issue was my cognitive dissonance so I was able to only agree with my trauma counselor some of the time but other times I was defending the Narcissist and excusing his wrongdoings, accepting his faults from him as my own.

That’s why I eventually quit Narcissistic Abuse therapy so I could focus on loving Michel more and better.

That resulted in my depression worsening, suicidal ideation skyrocketing, and a really bad psychomotor retardation taking over. I eventually was only able to speak very slowly, was confused and foggy-minded, and had no concept of time.

I recommend Narcissistic Abuse therapy highly.

And do NOT quit it!

I Was Diagnosed with Narcissistic Abuse C-PTSD

After attending Narcissistic Abuse therapy for a few weeks, I was diagnosed with C-PTSD. I am still dealing with it today, managing it through breathing, meditation, prayer, and mindfulness to stay grounded.

The impact of Narcissistic Abuse on me resulted in:

  • Stress of such intensity that eventually I was paralyzed by it
  • Anxiety and panic attacks accompanied by crying spells
  • Confusion, disorientation, devastation, mental chaos
  • Inability to understand reality and make decisions 
  • Fatigue, physical pain, and feeling detached from reality
  • Disassociation, the daily conflict between Anna Szabo and Anna Stevens 
  • Guilt from accepting the Narcissist’s faults as my own
  • Disgust with myself from being depressed, fatigued, and confused
  • Avoidance of places, events, or people (still dealing with this one even today)
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Sense of a limited future, which resulted in the suicidal ideation
  • Difficulties sleeping, I also endured sleep abuse in that house
  • Sense of self-blame related to trauma, I blamed myself for the Narcissist’s wrongdoings
  • Sense of isolation from other people, I moved to a new community for the Narcissist after our wedding and didn’t have anyone to talk to
  • Hyper-vigilance, irritability, being easily startled
  • Flashbacks and crying outspells
  • Hopelessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Foggy-mindedness
  • Psychomotor retardation
  • Depression and inability to even wash hair or unload the dishwasher
  • Suicidal ideation due to feeling trapped 

Understanding my C-PTSD and what the Narcissist had done to me helped me take appropriate action toward healing.

The first action was to let go of the Narcissist.

I Wasn’t Willing to Let Go of My Narcissistic Abuse Relationship

In this article, I shared a lot of information about Narcissistic Abuse. I can clearly communicate about my situation and perspective.

Please note: while living with Michel, everything was a fog, nothing was clear. I was always confused: I wanted to honor God with our marriage and I stayed because I genuinely believed that the man I married did actually exist, only he didn’t.

To see that the man I married was a mask, a pretend, a deceit, a trap, I had to go through a four-day long divorce jury trial and witness Michel lie, change his testimony, manipulate people, mumble the word salad, and even use Gaslighting as well as Projection publicly, right there in the courtroom, very eloquently, and witnessing all that helped me finally resolve my illusions and gain peace.

When on day four of my divorce jury trial I got on the witness stand and was asked what I wanted, I said: “I have peace.”

The Holy Spirit washed me over with peace and understanding on Wednesday as I watched the Narcissist being who he is and I finally accepted the truth about my marriage.

Before that Wednesday, I had hope, I kept a journal called “A Case for Marriage” where I prayed to God to reconcile our marriage and restore our relationship.

That false hope kept me trapped and I was in bondage. Feeling trapped caused depression and I wasn’t able to function.

Peace allowed me to move forward in life.

I am admitting to you: I was not willing to let go of my marriage and I was committed to making it work.

Such mentality was not healthy for me.

If you’re in this kind of situation, get out.

My friends offered me to pay for me to move out of our marital residence and I refused because I was committed to making my marriage work.

It was unsafe and damaging to my mental health.

Choose wisely. Your safety and sanity both matter.

I Spent Two Years on Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Journey

It’s been almost two years on my Narcissistic Abuse recovery journey. It’s been tough and rewarding.

“Tough” because, as I’ve been sharing openly and vulnerably about my experiences, many women reached out to share about their Narcissistic Abuse experiences. Seeing how much suffering there is in the world is painful and tough.

“Rewarding” because I know I’m not walking alone – God is always with me. He comforted me and equipped me to comfort you. Now as I’m comforting you, you can know that you’re not walking through the “valley of the shadow of death” alone. God is with you.

I trust that God’s plan is good. Here’s my poem:

"Your plan is always perfect" #PoemsFromGod

You said your plan is perfect.
Can I believe it, God?
Sometimes I feel in conflict,
With scope of trials so broad.

But then I look around,
I pay attention close,
And see your grace abound
In sorrow and in loss.

I trust your every vow,
Your Holy Word I trust.
Sometimes I wonder how
Your beauty comes from dust.

Your plan for me to prosper,
Have future & the hope
Wholeheartedly I trust in
And never will I stop.

8/16/17 © Anna Szabo, JD, MBA

Though there’s a lot of pain when you live in the Narcissistic Abuse relationship, there’s hope, too. Our God of comfort uses all things together for good.

READ: How To Trust God Completely

As I was recovering from Narcissistic Abuse, I documented my journey. You can see one of those videos here to help you witness God’s deliverance from pain and suffering as He is equipping us to minister to others and offer the same comfort we received from Him to help others heal.

I’ve Experienced Healing from Narcissistic Abuse

There’s been a lot of healing I’ve received and there’s still much healing that’s needed. One thing for sure: healing started with forgiveness.

Yes, I said forgiveness of Michel was the starting point of my healing.

Here’s the thing…

Jesus died on the cross for my sins. He bled and suffered and asked me: forgive those who wronged you. I forgave Michel.

I forgave him once and I continue forgiving him often as the memories surface and sorrow overcomes me from time to time.

In my 1:1 with God, I committed to forgiving Michel for all the suffering he had inflicted on me. But with time, more and more memories come up, so on days like this, when I write about what happened, I have toforgive Michel again and again. And I do it.

I forgave Michel and continue forgiving him.

I do it not because of Michel but because of Jesus.

When I surrendered my pain and suffering to Jesus, I was liberated from the bondage with Michel.

Forgiving my offender allowed my healing to begin.

Also, I journal to process everything that happened in the Narcissistic Abuse relationship where I was deeply wounded and experienced so much pain.

I pray: you can see my prayer here.

Biblical affirmations meditation helps my healing.

Spending time in nature, kayaking, quiet time with God, reading, writing poetry and fairytales – all these activities helped me heal from Narcissistic Abuse.

I also became vegan to no longer consume the flesh of dead animals, which really helped my mental and physical health.

Having meaningful friendships really helps me.

My friends and I talk about all these things in detail, processing life as it is, without the rose glasses, and finding joy in this life by embracing God’s Word.

And the two final things I want to mention last but not least, together, because they were extremely important on my journey of healing and I really want you to consider these two things: divorce care (or Narcissistic Abuse support group) and grief.

Divorce care was so helpful for me because it allowed me to grieve. Grief was essential to forgiveness and liberation from the bondage with Michel. I experienced appropriate genuine sadness as I was recovering from Narcissistic Abuse, and it allowed me to move forward in life.

I am not healed. I have experienced healing, which is not an event but a process.

Healing takes time and a lot of hard work. My work includes working with all my own memories, thoughts, emotions, and feelings, as well as writing content to help your memories, thoughts, emotions, and feelings.

Writing this article for you has been very painful and I resented it for a long time but I know it will help you when you read it, so I write, hoping that through this content we both can experience God’s healing.

If this article helped you and you want to say thanks, use this gratitude jar.

I was brokenhearted and God is repairing my heart as I type. If you’re brokenhearted, reach out to God for healing.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:3

God preserved my life and He is healing me every day. He loves you, He preserves your life, so reach out to Him for help.

My comfort in my suffering is this:
    Your promise preserves my life.

Psalm 119:50

I hope my story is comforting you. I hope you now know with comfort that there’s a beautiful life beyond Narcissistic Abuse. There’s life beyond depression and suicidal ideation caused by the Narcissist.

Read these stories of famous people who share 11 quotes for depression recovery from their own depression experience.

I love my life with God.

I have joy and peace that come from embracing His Word and dwelling on it, pondering it, and allowing it to transform me.

There’s hope for you, whichever stage of Narcissistic Relationship Abuse you’re living through right now. This is not the end.

You have a beautiful future full of joy!

Daily devotional by Anna Szabo - I AM JOYFUL - Online Discipleship for Women Christian Ministry

Frequently Asked Questions About Narcissistic Relationship Abuse

Is It Easy to Spot the Narcissist or Does It Take a Long Time?

The Narcissist can pretend for as long as it takes to get you. Once he got you, his mask comes off and he starts eating you alive. What’s his plan? To get you in bed? To marry you for a checkbox? Whatever his ultimate goal is to fuel his Ego-Self, whatever time that goal takes to achieve, he will deceive you for that long.

How Does the Narcissist Make You Feel?


Does Narcissist Devalue Me Deliberately or Unintentionally?

The Narcissist is not unintentional is his behavior. He is very calculated and intentional. His intentions are cruel. He lured you into this premeditated deception intentionally and now that you stopped worshiping the ground he walks on, he is done with you, so he trashes you like a piece of nothingness. Discarding you was his plan all along. The Narcissist is the Chief Deceiver and Liar. 

Why Is the Narcissist So Rude and Cruel Even After I Forgave His Discarding?

The Narcissist does not need your forgiveness.

Forgiveness is only for those people who believe they possibly have done something wrong. That’s not even a thought in the mind of the Narcissist. He is perfect and you’re the one guilty of all his faults. The Narcissist is not rude. His behavior is explosive because it’s who he is, this isn’t something temporary, it’s his very nature.

The Narcissist has no Real Self, only his Ego-Self. As long as you feed the Ego with attention, praise, and admiration, there’s a purpose for having you. Once you stop worshipping the ground the Narcissist walks on, it’s time to trash you to make you feel crazy and worthless.

The reason why you shouldn’t see his behavior as temporarily being rude is that the Narcissist manipulates you intentionally. It’s not being rude, it’s being strategic about driving you into depression and possibly suicide. He wants to win with you, which for him means to suck the life out of you and leave you to die.

The Narcissist can’t accept your forgiveness because he hasn’t done anything wrong. Everything is your fault – that’s his perspective. His Ego doesn’t have empathy or compassion or remorse.

The Narcissist can only accept praise and admiration.

Why Does the Narcissist Constantly Say “Do You Still Love Me?” 

The Narcissist has a very fragile Ego full of shame about the past and full of self-hatred. What fuels the Ego is praise, admiration, and compliments. That’s why he is asking for those constantly, otherwise, he can’t survive. Be careful with the Narcissist! He sucks your life out of you and discards you like a piece of trash once you stop worshipping the ground he walks on.

How Can I Help the Narcissist?

Treatment for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) can be challenging because the Narcissist has a great deal of grandiosity and defensiveness, which makes it difficult for him to acknowledge any problems and his own vulnerabilities.

I remember calling a highly-recommended therapist who was said to work in the area of NPD. I asked her if she could help the Narcissist who tortured me with cruelty. She exploded with laughter.

She said no one can help the Narcissist because the Narcissist is defensive and not vulnerable, he is not real, and he can’t be helped.

As I listened to her, I realized: wow, this is so true! At the time, I had already been in couple’s therapy with the Narcissist for months. The Narcissist, with whom I actually was in a marriage relationship, never showed up for counseling. Only a masked-up make-believe Ego-Self showed up, so our marriage counseling was useless because I still went home with the same old Narcissist who wasn’t in any counseling and rendered himself perfect.

I lived with an abusive, raging Narcissist who exploded with anger regularly, was manipulating me mentally, and was extremely mean and evil. The guy who showed up for marriage counseling with me was his puffed up Ego covered up with the nicest People Pleaser Persona imaginable. “Such a good guy!” – the deceived and unequipped marriage counselors said.

They were not equipped nor qualified to work with us. The Narcissist is a deceiver and liar so the counselors must have special training to see through his puffed-up Ego and mask.

I had no idea what was happening in my life. I couldn’t see the full picture of cruelty and manipulation and the clever deception the Narcissist so eloquently designed and executed.

I was confused and devastated. 

The Narcissist puts on the People Pleaser Persona to win or earn admiration and praise. The Narcissist’s identity is rooted in attention, compliments, admiration, and praise.

I remember how our marriage counselors bought really well into his persona and were so deceived. They later told me straight in the eye: “We can’t help you.”

But by then I already knew they were deceived and couldn’t help. They were just like me all intangled in the Narcissist’s meticulously created web of lies and pretenses. 

I was so disoriented, confused, hopeless, depressed, and suicidal. 

So, how can YOU help the Narcissist? You can’t.
Except, you can pray for him, from a distance though.

You need to get out to take care of yourself before he manipulates you into either committing suicide or he himself simply kills you. 

The Narcissist hates you not because of you but because of his emptiness and self-hatred. The Narcissist is driven by exaggerated envy of your accomplishments and fear of shame from being discovered by you as fundamentally unlovable and empty-shelled.

You can’t resolve it for him because he doesn’t want to acknowledge his problems ever. But most of all, because you see how broken, damaged, and traumatized the empty-shelled Narcissist is, he hates you with burning hatred and constantly threatens you.

Take the Narcissist’s threats seriously. 

Get out and move on.

I remember the judge in my case said: “To charge mental cruelty in this case, I would need to see that he feels forgiven, but I didn’t see it.”

What that meant was this: if the Narcissist exposes you to mental cruelty but says that he had no idea it caused you any pain (which was what he said), the judge sees it as if the Narcissist were simply naive and clueless of his own wrongdoing (that’s Gaslighting used on the judge by the Narcissist).

How’s that for deception? And I knew that Judge Dickinson truly felt that way because I felt that way for months, too. I was deceived just a few months earlier, and he was deceived now by the same deceiver and liar.

Initially, I myself truly believed that the Narcissist was just unaware of how cruel he was.

The truth is that the Narcissist is cruel, intentional, and clever.

Get out and run for your life because his goal is to manipulate you into suicidal ideation and complete hopelessness.

What if the Narcissist Doesn’t Do Anything and Just Leaves? Will He End Up Hovering?

Two things might be happening in your case:


The Narcissist leaves because he is done with you as his Narcissistic Supply, meaning you stopped supplying his fragile Ego with praise and admiration and you no longer worship the grounds he walks on, which is what he needs from you. His leaving you is called discarding. Basically, he trashed you. He is done sucking your life out of you because he feels there’s nothing else to take from you.


The Narcissist might be practicing Narcissistic Silent Treatment on you to teach you a lesson (literally the words of my ex-husband: because of my Ego, I treated you with Silent Abuse to prove my point and teach you a lesson). It might be a season of Silent Treatment because he wants to punish you for not worshiping His Majesty enough OR for having expectations of him (God forbid). The best case of action is to move on and heal from Narcissistic Abuse through self-care.

Enjoy life! Enjoy abuse-free living!

Heal! Lean on the Lord!

Enjoy not having to worry about the egotistical, self-absorbed, cruel Narcissist!

Does the Narcissist Get Angry When You Don’t Respond To His Silent Treatment?

Narcissistic Silent Treatment is the expression of the Narcissist’s already-existing anger. He has no skills to problem-solve in a context of your relationship so his weapon is Silent Abuse to make you feel worthless in hopes that you’ll learn your lesson and will unstoppably worship the ground he walks on and agree with everything he says.

Why Do Women Stay in Abusive Relationships?

Because you love this guy who pretended to be caring and charming. Because your mind is being manipulated to believe the issues in this abusive relationship are your fault so you take responsibility and try to fix everything hoping for a better future.

You just keep trying harder and harder. You stay because you have genuine hope that he will change.

Get out and move on, creating a joyful life by embracing God’s Word.

Conversations With God - How To Talk to God - by Anna Szabo of Online Discipleship for Women

How to Deal with The Narcissist: a 15-Step Plan

  1. Remove Yourself from The Narcissist Physically

The Narcissist will not change, he won’t stop gaslighting you to make you feel crazy, projecting his faults on you to force you to accept his responsibility, and treating you with silent abuse. His mental cruelty will not stop. Pray to hear God’s voice on how to get out of your situation. Get out to a place where you can breathe, be at peace, think clearly, and heal from all the damage he has caused.

  1. Go No-Contact to Protect Yourself Mentally

The Narcissist wants you dead, that’s his ultimate goal with you. He will be harassing you until you give up on life. So, go no contact and commit yourself to healing, not hoping that he’ll change. You matter. Your life matters. No contact with the Narcissist is the only way to heal.

  1. Commit to Narcissistic Abuse Therapy

The Narcissist has done a lot of damage to your psyche, brain, mind, soul, spirit, and body. You need help, that’s why I recommend seeing a trauma counselor. Narcissistic Abuse therapy will help you understand what happened to you and heal so you can move on with life.

  1. Deal with Your Depression Immediately

The Narcissist aimed at luring you into his premeditated deception through love-bombing, abusing you through mental cruelty, and forcing you to commit suicide through depression and hopelessness imposed on you by his eloquently-calculated manipulative actions. That’s why dealing with your depression is a must. It’s an urgent priority, so don’t dismiss it. Admit the struggle and get help.

  1. Get Help for Your Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and PTSD

The Narcissist exposed you to a lot of unimaginable trauma, so fear, panic attacks, and PTSD are all the result of his mental cruelty. You need to pray to hear the voice of God on where to seek mental help. Your condition requires adequate help from a professional who is equipped to diagnose you and lead you through your healing journey.

  1. Understand Your True Identity and Get Grounded

The Narcissist wants you confused and filled with doubt about who you are and what the reality is since he pulls you in and out multiple realities. The Narcissist tries to alter your identity. Get grounded in what God says about you and who you are in Christ. Find out 52 amazing things God says about you.

  1. Discover and Write Out Your Purpose for Living

The Narcissist wants you to see all people as deceivers and all future as hopeless. He turns people against you and plants in your mind the seed of doubt about your friends and supporters. He is the thief who comes to steal and kill and destroy. He wants you to hate life and give up on living. You must dig deep and pull out of your soul your own purpose for living life. You must write out your WHY and memorize it, frame it, carry it with you, look at it, and have hope for a better future.

  1. Create a Self-Care Plan and Practice Good Habits

The Narcissist wants you destroyed. The best antidote to Narcissistic Abuse is self-care: read, meditate, breathe, take a bath, cook nutritious healthy meals and eat regularly, drink water, work out, walk outside, be creative, take naps, and spent quality time with God in prayer.

  1. Protect Your Mind from Mental Garbage

The Narcissist inflicted much pain on you. Your mind is filled with doubt, fear, and hopelessness. Stand firm and alert at the gate of your mind. Don’t binge-watch Netflix or scroll through social media aimlessly to avoid life. Read the Bible, immerse yourself into God’s promises, practice mindfulness, memorize Biblical affirmations I shared in my #52Devotionals book, nurture your mind with Bible-based truth about who you are, pray every morning, talk to people who understand and support you, listen to the hopeful worshipping songs, read books that help you, and avoid mental garbage.

  1. Journal about Your Journey

The Narcissist worked overtime to pull you in an out multiple realities. You witnessed Dr. Jackyl transform into Mr. Hyde in a matter of seconds many times. It’s hard to understand what’s happening. Writing about your life, feelings, thoughts, and breakthroughs will help you heal. Keep a journal and commit to daily entries.

  1. Trust God’s Plan and Surrender Your Pain

The Narcissist comes into your life to steal, kill, and destroy. Yet, when Satan wanted to tempt Job, he had to go to God and ask for His permission. God ordained Job’s troubles and temptations.

How is this important to us today?

God allowed Job’s troubles to test his faith and only gave Job as much as He knew he could handle.

So, God had to ordain this for the Narcissistic deception to happen in your life. God is preparing you for something big. He wouldn’t allow this if He knew you couldn’t handle this.

God allowed this adversity because you can handle this, so stay hopeful and future-oriented. Pray on your knees, surrender your pain to God, ask Him to lead you and guide you and to heal your broken heart.

Reach out to God and surrender.

  1. Stand Firmly on God’s 3573 Promises

The Narcissist manipulates you mentally so you lose hope and desire to live. But God gave you 3573 promises, so stand firm on the promises of healing, purpose, prosperity, restoration, unconditional love, peace, and joy.

Journal about God’s promises fulfilled in your life so that you can see for yourself that God never failed you and He will not start now.

  1. Practice Gratitude

The Narcissist worked really hard to manipulate your mind into total haze, chaos, confusion, and intimidation. He wants you paralyzed by fear so you can’t live.

Gratitude is the antidote to fear.

Practice daily gratitude to be courageous and persevere with divine fortitude. God blessed you with many blessings – count them all daily to stay grounded.

  1. Pray for the Narcissist’s Deliverance and Salvation

The Narcissist has harmed you. If you read this full article, you understand what happened to the Narcissist as a little boy. He’s extremely traumatized and scared to face his childhood trauma. That’s why he is the way he is and that’s all he knows.

Still, I don’t want my abuser to burn in hell for eternity. Do you?

I pray for the Narcissist’s deliverance and salvation on a regular basis and I invite you to pray, too. Ask God to save the cruel Narcissist from himself, his own harm, the suffering he inflicts not only on others but firstly on himself.

Ask God to deliver the Narcissist from his childhood trauma, fear of painful feelings, his lack of conscience, and his heart of stone. Pray that God gives the Narcissist a heart of flesh and that He saves him by helping the Narcissist meet Jesus and experience divine healing.

Pray for the Narcissist.

  1. Forgive the Narcissist to Set Yourself Free from His Bondage

The Narcissist harmed you severely. He hurt you. He inflicted pain on you. He damaged you physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, sexually, and in all aspects of your being. The Narcissist is cruel, evil, and dangerous.

He has done you wrong.

Yet, you must forgive the Narcissist.

Forgive him not because of him but because of Jesus.

Christ bled, suffered, and died on the cross to forgive YOU and He asked you to forgive your enemies. Forgive the Narcissist daily as you process your pain.

Forgiveness is NOT reconciliation.

Can you hear me?

Forgiveness is N O T reconciliation.

Forgiveness is your release of the burden of the debt the Narcissist owes you. Forgiveness means you don’t hold on to the pain and all the wrongs done against you. Forgiveness liberates you from bitterness and resentment.

You don’t need to go tell the Narcissist you’re forgiving him. You don’t need to see him.

Forgive the Narcissist in your 1:1 with God.

Release yourself from the bondage with the Narcissist by surrendering every debt he owes you to God and letting it all go so that your heart can be free.

Forgive the Narcissist so you can be set free.

Narcissistic Abuse Survival Guide to take 15 Steps toward Sanity and Emancipation from The Narcissist - by Anna Szabo of Online Discipleship for Women



The Narcissist lives in a make-believe Ego-puffing reality, which he built for himself to survive life without having a Real Self.

He has no conscience so he can’t feel empathy or compassion. He abuses you intentionally with cruelty because his goal is to win.

Winning means destroying you, oftentimes forcing you to commit suicide. He wants you dead. He will not stop harassing you.

He harasses you through mental cruel tactics, such as Gaslighting, Projection, Silent Treatment, etc.

The Narcissist wants you to feel mentally incompetent, confused, doubtful, hopeless, depressed, sick, and suicidal.

Now that you know that the Narcissist works overtime to confuse and destroy you, get grounded in your identity in Christ.

Don’t worry what the Narcissist says about who you are. Find out who Jesus says you are! Read your Bible daily, even take a reading challenge with me!

Download my FREE BOOK OF DEVOTIONALS #52Devotionals now.

The more you practice understating and acknowledging who you are in Christ, the more peaceful and joyful will be your life as you’re healing from Narcissistic Abuse.

Understanding what God says about you affects not only your earthly life but your salvation as well.

Pondering your identity as a child of God is key to overcoming Narcissistic Abuse in relationships.

Utilize my Narcissistic Abuse Survival Guide to take 15 Steps toward Sanity and Emancipation from The Narcissist. Escape the bondage and mental cruelty. Protect yourself from Narcissistic Gaslighting, Projection, Silent Treatment, Narcissistic Reptilian Stare, Discarding, and all other cruel manipulative tactics aimed to drive you insane.

I help women see themselves the way God sees them. 

In the last few years, I’ve personally been on a quest to figuring out and conquering the negative voices in my head that distort my understanding of who I am. I call those voices the Shitty Committee, and each of us has that special committee in our headspace. 

I’ve specifically been focusing on my identity in Christ. 

From the Bible, I discovered 52 incredibly-positive things God says about us as His children. Those 52 precious discoveries turned into 52 Biblical affirmations I created to encourage and empower Christian women. 

To help share this life-changing information with you, I created an ebook called #52Devotionals. Download it now for free

My free ebook helps you understand who God says you are. Don’t be vulnerable to identity attacks from the mainstream media, relatives, coworkers, your boss, society, culture, and the voices in your head. 

Stand firm and know what God says about you.

Anna Szabo Ebook Devotionals for Women #52Devotionals

Last Updated on by