BreakupsCompatibilityDatingFriendshipGender and SexualityLovePhysical IntimacyRelationship AdviceRelationship ProblemsRelationshipsSingle LifeSocial Skills & Etiquette

Online Support for Victims of Sociopaths and Malignant Narcissists

Updated on December 28, 2016

What is Malignant Narcissism?

Experts who study human behavior are divided over just what constitutes malignant narcissism. It appears to be a subset of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, a condition described in the medical Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR).

However, this condition goes beyond that, because people who suffer from it also have a sadistic streak. Some professionals believe that malignant narcissists are really just high-functioning sociopaths, as the distinction between the two is blurred.

Finding Help Online

Where do you turn when you've been betrayed in some of the worst ways imaginable?

Life is full of hurts, upsets and disappointments. This is a normal part of the human experience.

But what I'm talking about is much different. An encounter with a sociopath or a malignant narcissist leaves you gasping for air and wondering if you'll survive.

You will survive, but healing is a process that takes time and fortitude.You'll have your good days and your bad days. You'll even be able to trust again, and to realize that most people are fundamentally good.

Every painful experience, if channeled properly, results in growth. Over time, you'll even be able to see the blessings of your walk through this valley of darkness.

Believe it or not, you'll even be able to forgive the person who's harmed you. But how do you get from here to there, and move beyond the trauma?

Many victims turn to online forums, such as lovefraud.com and outofthefog.net. Both offer plenty of good advice, anonymously.

In my humble opinion, anonymous online support is among the best ways to get your bearings after cutting the narcissist loose.

Narcissists abuse victims find help online.
Narcissists abuse victims find help online. | Source

The Benefits of Online Support

One of the biggest benefits of online support is that it's anonymous. You can receive feedback and advice from others who've been there. Many people who've never encountered a narcissist or a sociopath might find your story hard to swallow. That's because the personality disordered are capable of such outrageous behavior, and are so adept at manipulation. So what you're recounting seems too bizarre to possibly be true.

However, the folks you meet online need no convincing. They know just what you're talking about.

Also, narcissists are very persuasive. One of their more sinister traits is the way they rally people to their cause. Unfortunately, it's possible that if you cry on someone's shoulder, the narcissist will hear about it. This gives him or her more insight into how best to attack again.

So online anonymity is very beneficial, given the circumstances. The moderators who run one forum strongly suggest you don't reveal your true identity or too many identifying details. That's primarily because your tormentor might find them.

Recovery from narcissistic abuse.
Recovery from narcissistic abuse. | Source

Love Fraud Blog

This site is primarily for people deceived by romance. There is a lot of good advice. If you are confused as to whether someone's behavior is disordered, this can shed some light on that question.

The site owners have live through similar situations. This is a very non-judgmental platform to air your concerns.

The only caveat is not spending too much time here, or on any forum, as a recovering victim. The idea is to eventually move on and to find a new focus. Later, when you've reclaimed your life, and grown from the experience, you can return tot the forum from time to time, in order to help others.

Malignant Narcissists in Your Life

Have you ever been betrayed by a manipulative, deceitful person?

See results

Out of the Fog

This forum is superb because it contains a wealth of information on malignant narcissism and the tactics they use. It is a very active community and the people are very helpful.

The name of the site describes the light bulb going off in your head moment, when victims realize they've been taken for a ride by someone who doesn't possess a well-developed conscience. This is a painful experience, but it's also liberating. You know what you've been dealing with and every instinct in your body tells you it's time to sever the cord. You no longer miss this person, or wonder if there was, perhaps, something you could have done, to avoid their wrath. You realize there was nothing you could have done to fix what is missing, in the heart and the soul of the narcissist.

Moving beyond narcissistic abuse.
Moving beyond narcissistic abuse. | Source

The Friendship Blog

This moderated forum is run by Dr. Irene Levine, PhD., who gives excellent advice to women suffering the loss of a friendship. Many of the other recovery forums deal almost exclusively with romantic breakups. Dr. Levine's site helps those who've lost their best friend, or a significant friendship.

She notes that women's friendships are intense and complicated. Female friendships become increasingly important as we age, and Dr. Levine recognizes this.

But Be Careful Online

A word of caution about online forums is in order. They are populated with narcissists, no matter which topic is being discussed. The Internet and social media sites are extremely attractive to people with personality disorders, as they can talk about themselves and boast of their accomplishments on a massive scale.

Malignant narcissists like to abuse others. They troll the forums looking for victims. Be very careful if you decide to strike up an offline relationship with someone you met in a forum.

Actually, there are some signs to watch for, when you "meet" someone online, according to psychologist Dr. Sylvia Gearing, Ph.D. These red flags include spending an inordinate amount of time posting on Facebook (most normal adults won't update multiple times a day), having an excessive number of Facebook "friends" and putting up too many pictures of themselves. Be especially wary if these photos show immodest dress or suggestive poses.

Watch Out for Narcissists on Facebook

Beginning the Recovery Process

The day you recognize what you're dealing with, and make a firm resolution to break free, is the day you begin to recover. Freedom means either no contact or as little contact as possible. Sometimes it's not possible to totally avoid certain people. If that's the case, then interact as little as you can. Don't provide them with any more information about what you've been doing, since you've cut them out of your life.

Recovery comes in stages. Some days are better than others. The hurt feelings might surface again if something else, even if it's not related, happens to upset you.

Be patient with yourself. This will take time. Reach out to old friends and try to find new outlets for your energy. Do things that make you happy.

Eventually, you'll begin to spend less time on the forums. The topic of malignant narcissism won't interest you as much. This means you are cruising along in the recovery process.

Forgiving the Person Who Hurt You

This is necessary if you want to move on, which is the only solution when it comes to narcissists. If you pray for people, put this person at the top of your prayer list. If you don't pray, just send them well wishes.

Eventually, you will reach the point where this doesn't hurt you at all. In time, as you look back, believe it or not, you'll probably find a few blessings in all you've been through. If nothing else, you'll be able to help others negotiate a similar situation. Few people understand the world of malignant narcissism unless they've experienced it first hand.

My grandfather used to talk about "the school of hard knocks." This is where you'll learn some of the best lessons of your life.

Disclosure

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Comments

Submit a Comment
New comments are not being accepted on this article at this time.

  • Ericdierker profile image

    Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

    Hi my name is Eric and I am a narcissist and have been hurt by malignant narcissists. (I do not make fun here - I make a point) My favorite river is de Nile. Until I accepted the fact that I have narcissistic tendencies and have been hurt by them in others I could not get over it.

    I also think we need to be real clear that we forgive ourselves for our role. Hey! It is not all about Eric.

    Great hub friend

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

    Thanks Eric. Have a great day.

  • blueheron profile image

    Sharon Vile 3 years ago from Odessa, MO

    I'd like to see some real-life stories. It would spice up the article. This type of behavior is actually quite common, and I think many of us find ourselves engaged with sociopaths of one kind or another on a fairly regular basis. This is particularly true if you have a child in high school. High schools seem to be brim full of sociopaths. If you are fortunate enough to live in a very small rural community, you are likely to notice that local politics seem to exert an irresistible attraction to sociopaths.

    Unfortunately, it seems like the only way to recognize a sociopath is to observe their response to opportunity for personal gain at the expense of others.

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

    The world does seem to be filled with opportunistic individuals. Sometimes the only way to spot this disturbed behavior is in hindsight. Another safeguard is to learn all you can about it, and let new people into your life slowly. It's sad that we have to think about it this way.

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

    This is an excellent hub that contains great resources for people who have been burned by narcissists. On line help has benefits that in-person help does not, as you've pointed out. I agree with the caution about not giving too much specific identifying information. Voted up+++, pinning and sharing.

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

    Thanks again FlourishAnyway. Have a happy New Year.

  • blueheron profile image

    Sharon Vile 3 years ago from Odessa, MO

    I tend to think that a romantic entanglement a narcissist or sociopath is perhaps the easiest: Unless you are married to one, the solution is simple: Break it off. If you are married to one of these types, you need legal advice. If you have a child who is being bullied, threatened, sexually harassed, or slandered in school, it is notorious that school authorities are unhelpful--worthless is more like it. The only option in this case seems to be to remove the child from school.

    In the workplace, start documenting issues as soon as you become aware of a problem. For example, If you are not being provided with what you need to do your job (information, passwords, keys so you can open in the morning), make your requests for this stuff in writing--as in time-stamped emails. Follow up with more emails when your request is ingnored. Send emails documenting all issues. Keep private notes documenting any issues that you are not comfortable putting in an email to the offender--who may be your boss. For example, you may not be comfortable emailing your boss that a co-worker brushes against you unnecessarily and stares at your ass. You may not be comfortable emailing your boss that you are not comfortable with private, closed-door meetings. (This is a no-no in educational institutions, where with the same sex or the opposite sex.)

    When TSHTF, you will have everything documented for when you meet with the folks in HR.

    I think most people get victiized because they have no one to advise them, and nowhere to turn for good advice. When one of my daughters ran into work difficulties like the ones I've described, I didn't know what to tell her. So I called a friend of mine with long experience as an administrator/manager.

    In all dealings with sociopaths, seek good advice. Often a few free initial consultations with a few lawyers is the route to take.

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

    Workplace bullying is very tricky. Documentation of every incident is extremely important. Emails are a good way to leave a "paper trail," which you need. It is also good to have legal advice as well.

    However, in the office, a narcissist has already laid a lot of groundwork, smearing the target's good name and turning people against the target. So, by the time the target realizes anything is wrong, they've lost their support network. Unfortunately, it's been documented that complaining to HR does little good, and only leads to a resolution in a tiny minority (about 3 percent) of the actual cases. Maybe having really good documentation, and approaching the situation in an unemotional manner, can help boost those odds. I don't know.

  • asfarasyouknow profile image

    Red Solomon 3 years ago from Midwest

    I am not married to one, but might as well be. We have 4 children and have lived together for 7yrs. It has been a constant battle ever since. It has been so long because of the immence love I have for her, my children and my dedication to family. Though, she is very destructive at times, I don't feel like it was the wrong decision. I do have to get out of the relationship though. There is no cure for this. I am a man, she is a woman. We are not married and have 4 children. I have never been a weekend father and have no desire to become one. She will, given the mental condition, pull every string possible to conflict with my fatherhood if I am not romantically or sexually involved with her (hence 4 children in 5 yrs) but I love my blessings and wanted each one of my boys. I have never had luck with any kind of support or advice, online or otherwise. I'm screwed! Don't be me. Get out while you can. Thank you for the read, but it's 7 yrs. too late.

    "Laughing with depression"

  • blueheron profile image

    Sharon Vile 3 years ago from Odessa, MO

    asfarasyouknow, I wish I could offer you something more than sympathy. As a dad, unless you are in a state that is at least somewhat friendly to awarding custody to dads, your chances of getting custody in a breakup are not very good. In romantic entanglements with sociopaths, the "walk-away" solution works only if there are no kids, or if you are assured of getting custody. A woman who sees her children beeing damaged by their dad can usually improve the children's life by leaving/divorcing. While she may struggle financially, at least the kids won't be subjected to an abusive psychotic.

    A dad in this same situation is going to have a hard time rescuing the kids from an abusive/psychotic mom. You should probably seek legal advice. Maybe there is hope for you. Or maybe not, depending on the circumstances. Almost all attorneys offer a fre initial consultation. You should talk to several and make a LOT of inquiries among your friends about good attorneys.

    If you go this route, there is one big caveat: There are a lot of predatory divorce attorneys out there. They work on your anger and try to get you so stirred up and angry that you will willingly go broke from an endless, and often fruitless, legal battle. A good attorney is a dry, unemotional type--preferably politically connected and older. RUN from the attorney who works on your emotions. (You have met another sociopath, intent on preying on you.)

    It may be that there is not way out for you. One of my friends who had along relationship with an alcoholic was able to learn good strategies for dealing with co-dependency through AL-ANON. He has often said that AL-ANON changed his life. You might benefit from attending AL-ANON meetings, even if you baby--mama is not an alcoholic.

  • asfarasyouknow profile image

    Red Solomon 3 years ago from Midwest

    Blueheron I do not wish to take the children from her either. My chidren need a mother as much as a father. I have opted for joint custody, but it is too fair of a decision for her to embrace. She wants control for the sake of having it, though she posesses no leadership and very little problem solving skills. I do live in a woman's state. There is no legal help. If I leave I forfeit everything I have built. I just want what is best for my boys. They need their father. I just wonder what her overall goal is for being like this. She gains a fake reality only. Her accomplishments are an illusion because she cannot see the greater sacrifice. I just pray that she will change....but I really she is beyond rehabilitation. Thank you my fried

    RedSolo

  • blueheron profile image

    Sharon Vile 3 years ago from Odessa, MO

    asfarasyouknow--been there, my friend. Why does she do this? There really is no answer.

    Your boys especially need their father to counter their mother's influence. They need you to defend them from psychological abuse and manipulation. The abuser is continually lying to the children; you need to be there to tell them the truth. The abuser is continually belittling the children; you need to be there to offer them support. The abuser will find ways to deprive them; they need someone there to make sure their needs are met.

    Unfortunately, my experience is that there is not a lot of support out there for victims of abuse that doesn't proceed to physical violence. Many years ago, I attended a support group for victims of domestic violence. The ladies there (who routinely had guns held to their heads) did not "get" psychological abuse, and its destructiveness. AL-ANON does seem to have the best approach for regaining and retaining control in co-dependent relationships. Maybe some of their literature would help.

    I have to commend you for making this kind of sacrifice. Someday--and it will seem like the blink of an eye--the kids will be grown.

  • suzettenaples profile image

    Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

    Thank you so much for writing this hubs on narcisissim. They have been helpful to me. To know there is light at the end of the tunnel is so helpful. I'm pretty battered right now and having a time recovering. I am in therapy, so that is helping too. But, to read your hubs and recognized this behavior for what it is is quite an eye opener to me. There has been so much psychological abuse and manipulation in my life, it is amazing I am still standing. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

    Hi suzettenaples, I am so sorry to hear about what you've been through, and I can only just begin to imagine how horrible it must have been. You will recover, with time. People who've never been through something similar cannot even begin to comprehend the twisted plots. Best wishes and I'll keep you in my prayers.

  • blueheron profile image

    Sharon Vile 3 years ago from Odessa, MO

    Now that I think about it, psychologically abusive and manipulative types DO have a reason for their behavior. They want total control. Mostly I think this is for the simple practical reason that it maximizes their ability to "use" you, although they do get their ego off from knowing they can do this. Any hint that their power over you is slipping will make them violently angry.

    I think that this type of behavior is often a generational family culture--like regular domestic violence. It appears to me that there are certain cultures in which this kind of thing is the regular thing. (I could name a couple, but I won't.) So think there is also an issue of growing up in such a family culture and continuing the behaviors that were modeled for you. So you can be in one of those situations where you have to "break the cycle of violence," so to speak. To know how, I think, is to adress simple "right and wrong" issues--and a person should be able to easily see that lies, threats, anger, violence, and lack of kindness, understanding , and respect for others is simply wrong. Many people don't seem to understand that this also applies to children. Go figure.

    ALL these child-rearing issues that people struggle with are simple right-and-wrong issues. Usuallly they are struggling because their family culture demands that they act WRONGLY. So you get a lot of cognitive dissonance and inner turmoil, an awareness of failure and sadness, or often anger and defensiveness about traditional methods of discipline and child-rearing. Bible quoting comes in handy here, because, when you know you're doing wrong, it is comforting to be able to quote some authority. The anger and defensiveness arises from the fact that people DO know right from wrong in their hearts, and the family or authoritarian demand that they behave in ways they KNOW are wrong tears them apart.

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

    It does seem to spring from families, and, sometimes, if people come from a family where bad behavior is tolerated, they look for what is familiar, or they don't have the same ability as others to recognize when something is off.

    I've also seen people misuse the Bible in order to control people. That is very sad, because God respects our free will.

  • blueheron profile image

    Sharon Vile 3 years ago from Odessa, MO

    Yes, this is very much learned behavior. One of my daughters once knew a girl in high school who was quite a diffcult kind of person. But when the girl's mother showed up for a school function and talked to her daughter abusively, my own daughter's eyes were opened about the way this girl came by her behavior.

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

    Lack of love in trust in childhood may very well contribute to this behavior. But others who are abused as children turn into very empathetic adults. At some point, we're responsible for our own behavior.

  • blueheron profile image

    Sharon Vile 3 years ago from Odessa, MO

    Actually, when you have kids in school you often have a great oportunity to observe kids' behavior in the context of their parents' behavior--so you can see how much of it is modelled for them.

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

    Isn't that the truth!

  • profile image

    perc westmore 2 years ago

    i would like to share about my horrific experience with a malignant narcissist but can't seem to find a good place. Maybe this is one. I will try to see what happens. thanks, perc

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

    Hi perc, please feel free to share here. That's what the comment section is for. I'm sorry to hear about this experience. Narcissistic emotional abuse is horrifying. But there is a lot of hope. Once you recover, you are happy again, and I dare say, more happy than before because you have a new appreciation for the good you see.

  • profile image

    Lisa 2 years ago

    Is there a forum I could join? Do you know of one?

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

    Lisa, there is one called Out of the Fog, which is a supportive community. I hope this can help.

  • profile image

    jenn31601 2 years ago

    Hello. I have been married for 20 years and seem to have been in denial for many years. My husband has always talked to other women in ways that are not appropriate for a married man to talk to. He has touched women in ways that are in appropriate. He is controlling and degrading to me. Just recently I told him that we a separating until he decides what he wants. We had a party with family and friends and his actions and behaviors were rude, inappropriate, and down right embarrassing for me and them. he wants to put blame on Alcohol. I was hoping to tell him to leave however anytime things get rough he pulls out the "I am going to end my life". Then everyone comes to him in distress. He has told our 13 year old son that he was going to be going away. He did see a counselor one time and hasn't been back since. I have people coming to me and telling me how uncomfortable they are around him and will not be around if I am not there. When i try to initiate something he pushes me away. He was physically abusive in the very beginning of our relationship but then stopped. I had low self esteem. so I have stayed all this time. I am seeing my son do the same things he is doing and I have to put a stop to the cycle. I spoke with a psychologist and she stated that he could have NPD. What are my options? I am seeking advise and support. Is there an online support group that I am able to turn to? Please help me find my way out of this nightmare.

  • ologsinquito profile image
    Author

    ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

    Hi jenn, I am so sorry to hear of your struggles and I will pray for you, that things take a turn for the better. However, I have no experience in domestic violence or marital malignant narcissism, so I'm not the best person to ask. My experience is with a female malignant narcissist.

    If he is drinking, this could be fueling some of the bad behavior. If that's the case, he most certainly needs treatment for that problem.

    I don't know what your religious background is. Are you Catholic? Maybe you could try and talk to a priest. Someone who has experience dealing with marital problems is a much better bet than asking me.

    In any event, I will pray for you.

Click to Rate This Article