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31 thoughts on “Contact

  1. Dear Dr Simon

    I’m writing to offer some insight as to how In Sheep’s Clothing has help me and I hope that what I have written here may help another person who is lost and looking for a way back to their life. I’ve read In Sheep’s Clothing several times and can honestly say it has been instrumental in my journey of reclaiming my life after a relationship with a disturbed character. After 5 years of off and on I was at wits end. I was depressed and spiralling down further after each episode with my ex.

    I read everything I could get my hands on about disturbed characters and associated personality disorders. I also read inspiring books as well as books on overcoming adversity, books of quotes, photography books – anything that was positive and made me feel good. I still carry some of them in my handbag in case I feel I need a lift.

    In Sheep’s Clothing talks about working out what makes you vulnerable to this type of person and despite my initial reaction to this suggestion I’ve learnt it really is a crucial step in gaining your life back.

    Something that made me vulnerable is my own beliefs. I had convinced myself he was ‘the one’. I thought I wouldn’t be going through all this for nothing. I convinced myself my future was with this person so I did everything in my power to make this relationship work. He knew this (I had told him more then once!)and that is what allowed him to treat me so badly – he knew I would always take him back and do anything I could to make ‘things better’ because I considered him my future. This goes beyond taking someone for granted – this is like a ‘kid in a candy shop’ for a disturbed character – unlimited manipulation and control with no boundaries or consequences.

    The last component of the book that I believe is the key to personal empowerment is accepting that not everyone is the same. Disturbed characters REALLY ARE different from other people. They know they are doing the wrong thing, they know they are hurtful but they JUST DON’T CARE! You want to believe this doesn’t apply to your situation but it does and once you accept this concept your life will be more peaceful knowing you did the right thing in leaving.

    I believe my situation is an excellent example of the importance of your empowerment tools but you need to be an emotinally healthy person to execute these tools and I was not this person. Judging actions not intension, acting quickly and putting in boundaires are all thing that could have kept my life under my control. I’m still coming to terms with this and trying not to beat myself up about it. Sometimes life lessons come at a very big cost and I feel this is what happen to me. However, I still consider myself one of the lucky ones – I got my life back. What is more important then that?

    Never in a million years did I think I would be at the point I am now. I love my life again, I can see the old me is coming back and that gives me strength and reassurance I’m on the right track. I still have low days but I handle them a lot better then I used to. I am still working on my vulnerabilities and understanding myself better and what I want from life but I recognise that I am a happier person away from my ex then I ever was when I was with him. When I look back at our ‘good times’, I was never as content and calm as I am now. I got this sort of insight from cutting off all contact and giving myself some time.

    If anyone is in the same situation I was in can I suggest:

     Accept that your life is about YOU. It’s not about ‘carrying’ someone else or trying to ‘help’ them or ‘rescue’ them. Your number 1 responsibility is to YOU. Disturbed characters lean on other people because they are not strong enough to carry all of their damaging traits and need to unload them from time to time. Don’t be a dumping ground!
     Read In Sheep’s Clothing more then once, more then twice. You will notice that different messages resonate with you at different times depending on where you are at with your recovery.
     Be determined to get through the bad times and regain YOUR life. I would read everything I could just to find one positive quote or saying or story to keep me moving forward.
     You will feel better, you will feel happier and your life will come back – just give yourself time, patience and lots of TLC

    I’m looking forward to reading the new book – can’t wait for the lessons……

    1. Hello,

      It was nice to read your comment about the book. I want to buy it also but I have problems signing in to Amazon and I do not get any help from there. So it is impossible for me to get the book.

      Anyhow, about relations I think nowadays, that a good relation and friendship should be more or less EFFORTLESS. There should not be fights all the time, not arguing, not so many bad feelings, supressed feelings all the time. You should be able to tell freely how you feel or your opinion without getting back violent attacks, verbal or physical – and the other person has a right to say his/her opinions and express her feelings, too. Whenever the relationship or friendship does not go on basically smoothly and more or less effortlessly, I think that it is better to go away. People have nowadays so much to do, they have their work, they have children, they have all kind of FUN things they can do – so why the hell waist the time with someone, with whom things are not simply going on happily??? And actually you do not need any other reasons to make that decision. You do not must look for lies or things like that to prove, that the relationship/friendship is full of nothing, because you just FEEL it. It is empty. It is too heavy – and life is not supposed to be heavy. Relationships are supposed to be joy in people’s lives, not constant sorrow.

  2. Dear Dr Simon,

    Sincere and heartfelt thanks for a great website – reading it has given me some comfort.

    My recent relationship was fraught with LIES (she’s just a ‘friend’), denial, put downs and anger. I wasted time, money and compromised my sanity.

    The last straw was when we went on holidays overseas for 3 weeks where he initiated fights with me DAILY. I now understand that this was a tactic he used to get rid of me as his relationship with his ‘friend’ had intensified and I was clearly on my way out. I called the relationship off 5 days after we arrived home by confronting him about her. We broke up on a Saturday afternoon and by eveneing (same day) he had announced to all at a party they went to that she was his girlfriend. I gave my ex an opportunity to walk away from the relationship we had, but he always assured me I had nothing to worry about?! Can this be normal behaviour??

    What is most painful for me now is that he has stonwalled me. I sent the last of his things to him by registered post and he sent them back to me ‘return to sender’ – clearly trying to hurt me. Also, whenever he sees my sister he runs over to greet her as if she’s a great dear friend of his and as if nothing has happened. My sister described his behaviour as if he is ‘dodging bullets’ by making everyone think he did nothing wrong. I have asked my sister to tell him off next time by reminding him the self-esteem damage he has caused. I feel so sad. I did nothing wrong.

    Thanks again Dr Simon for caring about mankind and helping us understand about these people.

    FM (Australia)

    1. Flo,

      I’m sorry for the betrayal. I went through it too. It hurts bad – for a while – and then you get angry. The anger seems to dissipate the hurt, anyway in my case. I hope you get to feeling less distraught as time goes on. Be glad you’re done (in a sense anyway) with the lying cheat piece of ****.

  3. do you know of any studies done on victims of narcissistic abuse? if so , please email me. i would travel the ends of the earth to have a professional hear my story.

  4. When you see a large white space here, think of all the cruel evils, and be surprised to learn wives are not always the victim

    Then think decades more. Pained, arrested, or dead, it’s a daily power game. Affairs or passionate love, lies or can’t recall, it’s always stealing the truth….

  5. Dr. Simon I really need your help. Ive been in a psychopathic relationship for 38 yrs. It has cost me everything. My job. (27 yrs) Down the drain, my children. Turned against me. It seems as if it will never get better. My own mother and husband set me up. The betrayal is like nothing I have ever experienced. I need to talk to someone who knows what I am talking about. Now, I have no insurance, which makes it even worse. That in itself is a problem. I don’t want to die sad. Please help me.

    1. Gigi,
      Welcome and I hope we can be of some assistance to you. We have a pretty good group of people that reply. You sound very desperate and somewhat destitute. Have you considered going to the Women’s Center ? They have counselors and group meetings you can attend at no cost.

      They are very empathetic and understand the dynamics of a CD relationship. You will find a lot of support there. You are welcomed to post here too. I am not sure at this point what I can help you with. I can suggest you read Dr. Simons books and of course read all you can in the archives.

      You will find many stories similar to yours. We try to find answers and resolutions to the dilemma many of us find in having lived with the CD.

      I encourage you to write freely what is going on in your life.


  6. Dear Dr. Simon,
    I read your book ” In sheeps clothing” and suddenly understood the behavior of my last boyfriend and of my mother. 50 years! I was bonded to her by manipulation and destructive behavior but in such a hidden way, that I could not identify it. She is so lovely in public und everyone trusts her, so that my own feelings since early childhood seemed to be wrong. “Be glad to have such a nice mother” I always heard from all sides.
    She uses 8 or 9 of your described technics, that is enough. Not identyfying, what happened to me all the time, I fell in love with a real bad narcissist. He opened my eyes in a real bad way. He uses all of your described technics!!! At the end of our relationship he said, that he has no feelings for anyone, including his parents.
    That is true. I saw him smiling, when his friend came out of a hospital, broken because of a very heavy desease, unable to work anymore. And my “boyfriend” smiled and was happy about it!!! He never visited him in hospital and when he heard, that his friend could not work anymore und therefore was useless for my boyfriend, he let him down, broke friendship and told everyone lies about his old friend to cover his own bad behavior. He is becoming more worse. He tries to break people, to break their soul.
    I have never seen things like that before. Such a covered hate to everyone!!!
    Now he has a new girlfriend and I think, he will behave much more worse to her than to me.
    He is glad to hurt people after they built up trust in him. This seems to be his
    hobby. Sometimes he showed very strange opinions and told me that he thinks, that there are two persons inside of him. After leaving him, I thought a long time about it and discovered, that he switches between the personality of his father and his mother (both are strange people). He has only small parts of an own personality. His parents had been together 50 years in a very bad relationship. I am a little bit afraid of this man, so I stay away from him.
    I am still very shocked. On the other hand I am glad to know now about my mother..
    If that man had not “helped” me to open my eyes, I would stay my mothers little daughter and servant until the end of my life.
    So thank you very much for your book.
    Moni from Germany

    1. Moni,

      I’m glad to hear you have come out of these relationships with a still life, that now makes sense to you. For me, once I understood and accepted the reality of the person causing me grief the hurt feelings went away. Now it’s time to recover. So exhausting dealing with these types of people, and your X sounds awful scary.

      1. Hallo Lucy,
        thank you for your comment. Sometimes I have to look for the vocabulary, because this is my old School English. I think, he is really scary, I found some hints, that he was sexually and emotionally abused in his early childhood. I am not sure, but he gave me some hidden und weird hints. I am like a detective to understand what happened. I think, that it was his grandfather und perhaps his own father, and his mother closed her eyes, so that she could have a “family.” But nevertheless, there must be some natural awful traits in him too. Thank God, that he is not a child abuser in a sexual way. I am sure about it. And I am really sure, that he does not know about his own abuse or he denies it.
        Once he spoke with the voice of his father, asking me not to smoke so many cigarettes. He did not only speak like his father, he “was” his father at that moment. He has a deep hate against women, therefore I think, that his mother was involved in it in some way. I really hope, that he has no personal crisis the next years. He is not physically violent against women, “only” sadistic in his behavior (not sexual behavior). But he has been violent toward men in the past (Beatings). It is the first time, that I write about my suspicion and discoveries. And I really hope , that his new girlfriend will not be emotional destroyed by him. As far as I know, she had been married to a man before, who betrayed her about 18000 €. So, she is a very good victim for him. She thinks, she has met her dream partner. It will be the hell after a short time. I hope, you believe me. It sounds so crazy and so dangerous. If my suspicions are right, he is an explosive mixture of different personality disorders.

        For me, it is getting better. I know, he is not normal at all. It is not my guilt. I will have strong boundaries in my future and be more careful with people. It is not my task to rescue people, it is my task to become happy. But it is still a long hard way and I am 51.!!!!

        I am just discovering my own wishes, my own life and change a lot of things. So many of my workmates say, I have changed the last months in a very positive way. It is not only to recover, but to develop my own personality, which was repressed by my mother and X.

        Thank you for answering so fast, I was happy, that there was someone listening to me.

        I wish all the best to you on your way.

  7. Moni,

    I’m listening. So are others, as you see, even Dr. Simon. Dr. Simon has so many enlightening articles in this website as are his books.
    You have lived with a person with severe mental disorders and I’m glad you came out of it and looking forward to your new life. I know a good life is out there – minus the disordered people. There are so many kind people. We just have to beware to not become victimized again.
    I hope to keep hearing from you.

    1. Dear Charlie,
      thank you for believing. Yes, and you “hit the ball.” It is a german expression, that you are right in your opinion.

      Dear Lucy,
      I will write again. But at the moment I have to work. I did not sleep well last night, because it is still upsetting (exciting). I hope I found the right english word.
      Sometimes I think, I have been part of a really cheap TV-film, which I called nonsense before I had this experience. Now I know better.

  8. Dr. Simon,

    I recently attended and enjoyed one of your workshops. You mentioned that people could request the relationship partners version of your “Errors in Thinking” and “Responsibility Avoidance Behaviors” worksheets. At your convenience I would be interested in copies of them.

    Thank you,
    (the woman behind the curtain)
    A Cry for Justice website

  9. Dr. Simon,

    I need help.
    Can you help me.
    I am a manipulative person.
    I live in the Chicago area.
    I’m having a hard time finding someone to help me.
    Can you refer me to someone there?

    1. Robert Kemper,

      Another way to get help is to simply help yourself.
      You may want to confess the same to your near and dears who may be having difficult time with you. Simply tell them that you are manipulative person and everyone will be better off if you get treated as such. Or, just simply point them to this blog, and they should be able to help themselves, and in turn help you indirectly.

      It is good to see that you are honest and forthcoming. I am sure you will eventually find the kind of help you are seeking.

  10. Dr. Simon,

    My situation is that I have had gaslighting for the past 42 of my 42 years. I know that my grandfather was worse. What happens to generations before that one?

  11. Hi Dr. Simon. Last year sometime I was reading your series on Developing Character, the Ten Commandments on the web site Counseling Resource. I somehow thought you had published a book on this topic of Developing Character. Is this information in the book, How did we End up here? I am looking at different resources towards that end of character development in myself currently. Thank you for your books. I have the first three and have given and lent my own copies to people. I have also read many of your posts on a variety of web sites and thank you for that as well. I have shared with people that there has been a paradigm shift and they look at me like I’m from Mars. That’s okay. I Know what I have experience in life. Kathy

  12. Dear Community,

    I just found this page cause I was looking for how to deal with emotional manipulative surpression. At the moment I m that kind of confused that I don’ t really know if I am the manipulator or the other person. Fact is we try to lead a relationship but for me it was obvious three monthes ago that there is someting wrong. I couldnt really completly fall in love cause it was strange that at the one hand he jzst daily visoted me, than put a lot of pressure on me cause he was always in hurry getting my complete attention, time and love. Meanwhile i was than kind of trapped in my own traumatic believes having fear beeing dominated by another person. But just the expression: a person has to “earn” his freedom just let me think…what the f* is that? Every time I didn’ t react the way he wished me to react there was this deep felt anger that bursted out with a kind of sarcastuc way he turned around and left me. I just stood there mouth open not really knowing what I did wrong. After a certain time I turned into a toxic person either and what turned out is not the best side of my character. So i pleased him to stop relationship cause even if there is still a deep loyality and understanding for each other, I don’ t trust the evidence that we are not really doing good to each other even we try to help each other. I m kind of depressed meanwhile too cause he just starts making drama out of everything and its just strssing to calm wverything down, clear it out aso. I like this person cause he had really several troubles in his life but neveetheless he s the kind of ENJT-A Person concerning Mayer Briggs…is very attentional as well as assertive, and reliable. But at least he s not reliable for me cause everytime I refused seeing him the times he “ordrered” to see me, complaing i would just waste hus time by arguing for my “me- time” to visit friends or do things I really enjoy…he started to play this on off games until I said ok if you really like to quit i quit, cause I dont like those manipulative actions. At least it ended up into another manipulative action…and he got me again caring for him and his wish to wanting a relationship. I just told him its certainly better to stay friends cause it doesn’t really work out the way we both see a good working relationship. He knows his faults as well as I do. But I don’ trust these changes cause I dont know when this manipulating games start again? Meanwhile I find myself trying to find the “right decision”…what means I dont want to hurt at the other hand we see potential and i want to decide in a moral way not wanting him to recall his traumatic experiences of severe treason that was threatening his life mentally and phisically but luckily surviving (war). But at least I guess I have to decide personally out of my own gut feeling and perspective. But well asking myself if I am manipulating as well. Especially in that case? Or is it part of this pattern…for me its no game, and its not about winning or loosing…its fighting for equality and respect…but he uses this words when something turns not out as he pretends it to be. Any recommenndations? Thank you so far…best wishes to all and the power for change. AL

    1. Thank you for such nice words, which I’m sure the community would like to hear. But commenting on this page is not likely to reach many. Best to comment on one of the articles. Or use the “contact” box on this page to send me a personal message.

      Again, thanks so much for your comments.


    2. Alexandra,

      What you write sounds like a complicated and troubling relationship. Ask yourself some questions:
      Do you truly enjoy being with this person?
      Does this person cause you much grief and confusion?
      Do you find yourself constantly questioning yourself, your actions, because of what he claims you do?
      Was your day to day life better before you met this person?
      Do you want a honest, loving relationship or a project?
      You know the answers. If this person is toxic and things just don’t feel right, then they aren’t.
      I think you need to get away from this person and go No Contact, which means don’t speak with him anymore, block his calls. Get him out of your life and start fresh and anew. You get too deep with someone like him it will become harder and harder to leave as your self esteem diminishes. Get out now.

      1. Dear Lucy,

        Thank you very much for your reply and the kind of right questions. It’ s true that I know the answers and it’ s true as well that it gets harder and harder to get out. So it’ s simply on me now to develop selfresponsible and selfcaring action. Best wishes sincerely Alexandra

        1. Alexandra
          You have a good head on your shoulders and are thinking clearly. You are onto his game. Like you say, it’s now about self care and I’m sire you know deep down what needs to be done
          Please join us in the current topic section. You will learn much and get much needed support. We’ve all been through and/or still are going through troubling times with the CDs in our lives

  13. Hello!

    I have been searching for answers that I have found difficult to come by even on the internet. It could be because of a lack of the correct terminology.

    How common is it for a person with a personality disorder to commit suicide as a punishment for the surviving family?

    Or would it more likely be as a result of shame after exposed incest, or perhaps to escape jail time?

    Please help

  14. Annelie
    You will get much more in the way of response if you post this question in the comments after Dr. Simon’s most recent post. Good luck! Sounds really bad!

    CD people aren’t known for high suicide rates, but are certainly high up there in the imcest category.

    If person is CD and incestuous I can see avoidance of jail as a motivator for suicide. Although they are vengeful people, they are unlikely to hurt themselves in order to hurt others.

    Sounds like a sad sad situation.

  15. Hello Dr. Simon,

    Your posts are truly valuable and the comments were very helpful, though some of them very awful stories. It’s very strange that how narcissists can successfully create an inflated high-regard self image, and they can manipulate other people to think that the victim is indeed the guilty and disordered one. You cannot see what kind of monster they are until you get close enough to observe and get to know them.

    About my story, i think i have got away with minimum harm, but it is still hard to see and digest the truth that someone I value has NPD and how she intensionally harmed me in cold blood.

    The person i am talking about is my colleague, who i really got used to and valued very much as a friend. The mirroring capability of them makes you think and believe they sincerely care about you. Also it makes you think you have a lot in common and get along very well. There was always a sense of doubt in me by intuition or say, maybe 6th sense. I tried to be helpful to her for a long time, but fortunately maintained a boundary outside work.

    As a typical narcissist, she asks a lot of personal questions to gather personal data about people, but seeming to be a really kind and caring friend doing this. She also unnecesarily disclosed me her family relationships and problematic relationships with friends to create pity. I am learning that this tactic is also typical of the schemas they use. Through time i observed how the admiring image (inflated ego) of herself did not match with the qualities and capabilities she had, and saw that she needed constant nurturing to make things go. I talked about this carefully trying to give positive feedback and not try to hurt her, but i think i triggered a button that hit the narcissistic vulnurability and things went wrong after that. To validate myself, i baited her a couple of times to see what i was to her. Maybe that was a mistake, but my habit is to research anything that i doubt. And her response was like i was a total stranger.

    Recently i asked for the follow up a duty she was assigned, and she had no idea nor seemed to care about it. We had an argument and saw that she was keeping track of every regular or work related conversation we had, and shared everything with the management only to dynamite my reputation. And i still do not know what impression she created about me with what she told in her point of view. It’s possible that she has other CDs other than NPD (covert type), some of her statements even pointing schizophrenia and paranoia. I was shocked how she put a mask like an actress and how easily she lied to condemn me,  like i never saw her before. She threatened me not to disclose this event to any of my friends, more like an ultimatum coming from an authority figure (just to maintain her inflated false self-image).

    Carefully observing, she can disguise to many characters depending on the situation, but my observations were too late to keep myself away from harm. I know that all this disorders source from lack of care and abandonment from a parent and the deep feeling of shame it created. But i still have to protect myself. She is still in my circle of friends, though i ignore her most of the time. Recently her attempts for adulation,  attention and attempt to dominate every conversation has become so irritating and pathetic that i cannot stand. And it is unsettling to see that noone is seeing the very serious problems with her and she is continuing to make a good impression of herself, seeming like a very kind, compassionate and proper person. I cannot imagine the limit of harm she can do to others. Maybe if she’s properly tolerated, they may not even see it for years.

    In this situation, what can i do to protect myself? We don’t talk to each other, but i know that she sees me as an enemy. She has the capability to manipulate anyone, and unfortunately i am the only person immune to her tactics, currently being the Gray Rock. I read the book In Sheep’s Clothing, but things went so out of way that the behaviour patterns told in the book won’t work anymore.

    1. G.R.

      I hope you continue to read the blog and encourage you to post on the current topic. All of the regular posters will be glad to assist in any way possible, answering many of your questions and validating your experiences. They will also support you and help point you in to other resources that may help you.

      Please check back later as I know others will comment on your post. Besides reading the blog I would encourage you to read Dr. Simon’s other books, as well as, listening to Dr. Simon’s call in program on Sunday nights.

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