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  • Susan Lee Woodward

Come Play Me - 5 Real Life Examples of Narcissistic Abuse - 5 Key Strategies For Recovery

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

Have you been subjected to a symphony of lies, broken promises, and repeated soul-crushing bouts of cruelty? Do you feel exhausted from trying to make sense of irrational behaviours that sap your energy, and create confusion and chaos, while your partner gleefully skips along to a lilting tune that doesn’t fit the mood of the nightmare you are living?

If so, you are potentially in a relationship with a narcissist. The examples below of narcissistic behaviour and outright abuse may prove similar to yours – and they actually happened.

Five Real-life Examples of Narcissistic Abuse

The Ring

Sam claimed to have lost his wedding ring while on his way to an event, where he pretended to be single and flirted with women. He even went so far as to file a police report for a loss that never happened. After eight weeks, while out for dinner with his wife, Sally, Sam flashed his ring finger, showing he was again wearing his wedding ring. When Sally said, “Oh, where did you find it?”, he exclaimed, “I’m really pissed off at you. I’ve been wearing it for two days" - gaslighting i.e. not true, "and you haven’t even noticed. “

Who is the injured party, Sam or Sally?

The Rock

Clementine gave her boyfriend Seth a few little trinkets of affection for a birthday present. One of the gifts was a stone with the word “Eternity” carved in it. She wanted to show him just how much she loved him. During their painful marriage and inevitable pending separation, Seth picked up this stone and fired it at Clementine's head, as hard as he could, from10 feet away. She stayed silent - and alive. When she questioned him about it later that day, Seth's response was, “I wasn’t really aiming for your head.”

I guess there’s no need to apologize – her mistake.


It was a beautiful day. They were having fun. They were on their way to a camping weekend that was to be chock full of hiking, swimming and relaxing. Everything was perfect, except…. when they stopped for gas, she decided to grab a couple of bottles of wine. He got the gas and she walked across the parking lot to get the wine. She waited for him to pick her up, as discussed… and waited, and waited, and waited... He just disappeared. Then he showed up – no answer, no reason, just a smile. He claimed he has been watching her from around the corner.

Does this seem odd to you?

A Day at the Fair

Joe and Pam were separated (living apart), and going to marriage counseling. One day, behind Pam's back, Joe took Virginia on a date to the Pacific National Exhibition. Pam found out. Joe’s explanation was that "Virginia (the date), had talked too much, and he had thought about her (Pam), the whole time”.

I guess that make’s cheating okay.

The Little Girl

On Karl’s cell phone, Lisa found a picture of a half-naked girl not old enough to drive. When confronted about it, Karl stated, “She’s 18. You have to be 18 to do porn!” Lisa also found sexually explicit photos of Karl’s daughter on his computer. He was “not aware of them”.

Does this mean that a possessor of online pornography has the right to vary the definition of “illegal”?

Five Key Strategies for Recovery

Narcissists are dangerous. You must cut your losses and move on. You cannot win the fights they pick. You are not capable of the level of cruelty you will endure if you challenge them. They have everything to lose and will defend it. If you do challenge them, you are at risk emotionally, financially and physically. Let go and move on.

You must get help and emotional support. You have been abused and need professional help to recover and build self-esteem. If you do not examine your own self-worth issues and heal the wounds, you are destined to be vulnerable to this type of predator and repeat a pattern of abuse. Find a good counselor whom you trust and who understands narcissism and all its implications for your long-term health and recovery.

Surround yourself with loving, kind people whom you trust and can count on when you need support, a hug, or a place to go to if your life is in danger. Have an escape plan. Yes, it can get that bad. Don’t underestimate the capability of someone who fears losing EVERYTHING. It is death to them and they will fight it.

Narcissists never truly go away. They can cause emotional distress and real trouble for you months or even years later as they casually decide to show up in your life again after long absences. That emotional hook that lured and caught you in the first place needs to be removed. That’s what the counseling is for. Do not underestimate their level of deviance. They are brilliant actors with lots of practice and a trail of bodies in their wake. ***NOTE: They will never change. You must be firm: NO CONTACT – EVER.***

Protecting yourself requires diligence. Record-keeping; filing documents; being a good detective; maintaining protection (the police, close friends who are aware of what is happening); an escape plan that includes money, a safe place to go, and a fully charged phone – all these are essential for your care of the most important person in this: yourself.

Long-term and chronic abuse, in whatever form it comes, can leave us plagued with long-term physical, emotional, mental and spiritual symptoms. Understanding their origins can start us on the path to rewriting our song, and changing the melody to something beautiful designed with love. It can create the sacred space for a future harmonious duet of mutual respect.

Trust your intuition. It speaks the truth.

I am a Medical Intuitive, Reiki Master/Teacher, Laughter Yoga Facilitator, and Meditation Facilitator. If you are interested in learning more about my healing modalities or booking a session, please click on the link below.

© Susan Lee Woodward - 2018 - This article in its entirety is protected by Canadian and International copyright laws. Reproduction of this written content without written permission of the author is prohibited.

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