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I have been giving a lot of thought to those compassionate empathetic people who have had bad experiences where they trusted and gave their heart, where their commitment and loyalty was taken advantage of, and most of all, those who have experienced the psychological tangle of narcissism in their relationships.

Primarily, if anyone ever says that you, your behavior, your caring, or relationship caused them to be angry, harm, to behave badly, or abuse in any way, GET OUT!  An emotionally and mentally mature person is responsible for their own behaviors and claiming otherwise is the first red flag.

This is a mentally and emotionally draining and toxic relationship for those with high levels of empathy.  Because of how strongly we feel about human relations, and expect people to behave as positively and cooperatively as we, we hope to “love” someone out of that kind of behavior or think that time will change a narcissistic personality.

Unfortunately, and what is so exceedingly difficult for empathic individuals, it feels like a defeat to try and accept that the relationship cannot become healthy in time.  Our nature is to pour so much caring and attention on the other person, that we remain in these toxic and draining relationships for far longer than is healthy for us.

Rational people don’t twist and condemn.  There is no attempt to attack with a “witness” loyal to them to draw sides (triangulation) or make an argument seem cogent.  A narcissist will try to convince you that you did or did not say, do, act, behave, offend and then claim that you don’t remember to create doubt or question your mentality(gaslighting).  Sensitive people will question their own behavior or sanity in an attempt to satisfy the claims of someone that they care for to create a peaceful environment.

There are many emotional vampires who love the combination of adoration, drama, fierce loyalty, protection, and lavish amounts of time, effort, and highly focused attention.

Not only does this kind of toxic relationship leave psychological scars, but affects those around who witness it, like children.  Healing is a very long road and support from trained social workers or therapists can be very beneficial.

It is painfully difficult when there are families involved because no one wants to break up a home and damage is done trying to break those ties from binding future generations.  But, if you can shine a little of the light that you willingly and freely shine upon others, on yourself with self-care and reestablish some self esteem, your burden will be lessened, some of your energy will be restored, and you can begin to fray those cords that have held you.

It is not easy by any means to break free as the two-sided behaviors of a toxic person can pull you in by being so loving and kind at times.  But, remember that you cannot save others until you save yourself and find a space to breathe easier and more fully.


I hope today brings you a little sunshine to shine brightly on you and your spirit.





  1. Nicely done. And also true of Borderline Personality Disorder. Same dynamics. Thanks for stating it all so clearly and compassionately.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. It means so much more to me than you know and I am grateful to know that such a serious topic was accepted and appreciated.

      • This stuff is hard work and it’s always good to know we are not alone! Thanks for using your writing gift for healing purposes.

  2. Reblogged this on Writing with Spirit and commented:
    I found this piece to be wise and compassionate. Take care of yourself!

  3. Thank you for sharing this article. I left a relationship like you describe above. Thank you for putting into words what I have a had a hard time describing to myself much less family.

    • I am so sorry to hear that you went through that. It is very hard for others to understand and unfortunately, because the other person behaves differently in public and private, others don’t realize the verbal or mental abuse that took place. We never really know what is going on in someone else’s home. Hopefully, you will find the right support system and encouragement to help you heal in time.

  4. a quote that came to mind when reading this was “Givers have to set limits because takers rarely do” A therapist told a friend of mine who was in a relationship with some diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder to “run for the hills” before she got in deeper. Your words to speak to that, – when someone is empathetic and drawn to wanting to help, or perhaps themselves not thinking they are “worthy” the combination is disastrous. My experience in interacting with someone( who I later realized ) was a narcissist occurred in my 20’s, they are cunning, twisting the truth, making you question yourself. A life lesson for me for sure.

    • Yes, you understand. I realize in hindsight the situations that I was in that were out of my control and am still trying to learn lessons about people. Somehow it always comes back to them and how they are the “victim”…..but rational people who don’t think, function, or act that way cannot understand the manipulation and outright lies that trip off the tongue like honey. The fallout can be so damaging. I don’t know why we have to learn the painful lessons that we do….

      • As I get older I find had I not gone through certain experiences I would not know how to respond when similar circumstances have arisen later in life. All part of the journey. I have really come to believe things happen for reasons unknown to us at the time, that come clearly into view years later. The fallout is great when trying to reason with those who are irrational – as they can never be reasoned with. It takes coming to terms with extracting yourself from them and learning to live with that extraction, painful as it may be.

  5. I’ve been in this kind of relationship for 9 years. 😦

    • Saying “approved” or “liked” seems inappropriate. I want you to know that I read your comment and I am so sorry to hear of your pain.

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