Hello Richard and everyone!
First I want to express how grateful I am to have listened to your most candid and wise videos Richard.
I was married for almost 20 years to a person who was a narcissist. I am left digging out of the darkness. It has taken me almost 6 years to be able to feel willing to interact with others. My recovery has been done completely alone, with the exception of some therapy and meds. (If medication may help it is always worth a try). I suggest that trying to change to a healthier diet and exercise along with trying to be mindful (meditation is helpful) is a big factor in my recovery.
The man I was married to tore my inner core out and although I understand it now, I cannot believe these kinds of people steal our lives out from under us. As I see from researching non-stop and reading and listening to other people - although I have been isolated - I am not alone.
So many of us don't have the support network we need from family, friends or even the community. I am 60 and will be 61 later this year. I never had children and was with what Sam Vaknin has coined a "cerebral narcissist."
Amazingly, he described my ex-husband to a T.
Amazingly, Richard describes what happened to me when describing CPtsd in regards to what happens in picking a partner when you had a father who did not give you a sense of worth as a child.
I also was on my own young because I had a family where my parents had these traits and my father was very harsh when I was a child. As the scapegoat there was so much triangulation with my siblings and my mother and father created that scenario. For years it never made sense. I know now I was set up to be a perfect co-dependent who would provide a supply source for narcs. Not only for the ex but also the family. Years and years of pain and confusion, but I somehow managed to rise above and do well at interacting and functioning socially.
For me there was always a wound. People never saw the wound in my heart and because I would smile and act accordingly, I got by until the breakup of my marriage because I was now much older, not to mention overwhelmed and having to rise from the ashes with no one.
Deeply depressed, afraid of people, no trust in anyone, it felt as if I was in a state of shock for the last few years where my brain was on hold. It is very strange because time goes so fast and here I am at 60 to rebuild a new person and not knowing how or where to start.
It is only by taking one minute, one day or week at a time. I encourage everyone not to lose hope if they find themselves isolated and abandoned. It is the narcissists favorite way of departing. They do destroy everything in their path and seem to find great delight in that. The crazy making is surreal in the end with flying monkeys and punishment by proxy. Terms many of us learn and identify with.
The information Richard provides can save lives.
With warmest regards and respect, I am happy to be here.