In a recent discussion, a friend of mine opined about my Narcissist. I heard myself saying that, if he was such a loser, why did his life appear to be going along so much better than mine. And, since saying that, I’ve heard a similar thought from another soul who reads my blog. They opined that the good guys do finish last. I have to say, this resonated with me. So the question of the day is: What is success?

It’s plain in retrospect my Narcissist is a thoughtless and empty shell whose only concern is his own satisfaction and gain at any cost. Clearly, this has worked for him all his life. Even though it seemed unconventional given his age when we met, he explained that he lived off his parents because he was an artist and inventor. I later learned he established relationships with women in his youth so he could live rent free which made me feel uncomfortable.


He’s propelled himself forward financially by selling the house his parents gave him at a premium in a slow market after a wealthy board member came to the aid of the local establishment who wanted him gone from the neighborhood because of the way his house was kept. He now lives in a small condo with a woman who is nearly 10 years his senior, according to

His latest victim not only gave him a place to hide from his messy life, she also gave him a prestigious title in the small business he talked her into starting, even though he had no knowledge of the  industry.  He told me he also helped her steal contacts from her former employer’s databases before she resigned. Maybe she’s brainwashed.  Maybe she is his match.  Either way, they broke the law.

Though he has and always will use people, he seems to be enjoying success that has eluded me. Being spiritually ethical, I have always chosen to not use people’s emotions for personal gain and have no regrets about this even though I feel alone at times during the holidays. Before being emotionally abused, I always knew that my decisions were good for all concerned. For some time after the fact, I lived in doubt of every decision I was making. Although I am much more cautious these days, I have maintained my integrity and doubt is no longer my master.

You may find yourself contrasting the life you imagine your Narcissist is leading with the mess yours appears to be in. You may feel incapable of acquiring happiness and success in the future. I encourage you to be mindful of what is important for you’ve already had a very big win. You’re out of an abusive relationship. Know that you’ve made a good decision regardless of how much you miss your Narcissistic partner. Distance and time will lead you to more good decisions, too.

The first and most important step is to forgive yourself and come to believe you did not fail at anything. That was a hard one for me so I’m not trying to be glib. What is certain is we can’t go forward in life if we are busy rationalizing the past. Nor can we thrive if we are living in fear of repeating the mistake of falling in love with another Narcissist. You were victimized but this doesn’t mean you are a chronic victim. You may find yourself attracted to another Narcissist in the future because they are very charming and Narcissism is rampant in our society. But, if we listen to our intuition, we’ll recognize how they make us feel and move on quickly. I’ve abandoned two Narcissistic suitors since we broke up, so I know what I’m talking about.

The Secret, embraced by Oprah and others, suggests we can attract abundance by intention. I am a firm believer in intention and watching this movie reminded me of its power. For centuries, the practice of Feng Shui has employed intentionally placed items to adjust an environment to attract positive energy for whatever is desired. We have to intend to recover by adjusting our viewpoints, I think. Not for spite but in spite of what we’ve survived. We have to embrace the reality that we have suffered effects of post traumatic stress which has ravaged our lives. As Thich Nhat Hahn suggests, we must embrace our anger until it subsides. Just as nurturing comforts an angry child, our anger will lose its force. Our success will come by knowing our personal power is real and the Narcissist who affected us has no real power.

My first breakthrough occurred in the summer of 2006. I was pondering the emotion of agony. I used a tool from a spiritual belief that described emotional tones on a scale. It astounded me, when I viewed this scale, that agony was higher toned than serenity. What was even more amazing was that inspiration followed agony. In that moment, I finally understood the phrase, “No pain, no gain.” In the midst of my epiphany that day, I wrote a poem called Stillwater Sounds which I’d like to share. I hope you’ll enjoy it.