About Me

WHO I am:

As a long-term survivor of narcissistic abuse, I have been very active in reading, learning, studying and trying to understand personality disorders. I am very active in various recovery and support groups using my real name. (Joanna Moore is a pseudonym.) Although I’ll never truly understand how a narcissist can be so cruel, I have learned many hard lessons about what to expect from them and how to protect myself. I really want other survivors to know that they are not alone, but I also want the general public to really understand, (or at least try to understand,) the extreme nature of narcissistic abuse and how it eats away at a person’s soul and leaves a shell behind. I have finished four eBooks about my experiences and the things I’ve learned. More books will be coming because I’ve been thinking about this for a very long time and have many ideas. I hope the information I offer helps!

WHY I decided to start writing:

I think about narcissism a lot. I observe, I analyze, I think about what I’ve been through and the things I saw. I recognize the patterns of both the abusers and the abused. As I recover, things are more clear to me, and I can see what I should have done earlier. I noticed that people liked what I had to say and I realized that maybe I have more talent than I thought. Instead of being mad at narcissists all the time,  I decided to make something positive out of the lessons I’ve learned…and continue to learn.

WHAT I’ve written:

I have published four Kindle books on Amazon.

The first is The Faces of Narcissistic Abuse: First-Hand Experiences with Narcissists. This book is an overview of what I’ve experienced with a narcissistic mother and two narcissistic spouses, as well as some facts I realized about narcissists. All of them were different, but all of them were the same. Many daughters of narcissistic parents repeat the cycle by marrying narcissists. I did it twice.

The second book is a very different style. Instead of sharing my first-hand stories, I tell you the hard lessons I’ve learned. It is called Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse: The Warm Hard Truth. Many people have a hard time giving up on the narcissist, but the truth is, you have to do it because they won’t change.

My third book is A Woman’s Guide to Detecting Narcissistic Men: Thirty Tips for Recognizing a Potential Predator. It details thirty common behaviors I have observed, (and read about,) in narcissistic men. I explain what to look for and why, plus give examples of seeing it in my own dating life. Narcissistic men have many things in common because they all share the traits of their personality disorder.

My latest book is In the Eye of the Sociopath’s Hurricane: Seven Weeks of Rage. Unlike my earlier books that talk about some of the things I’ve learned about what to expect from narcissists, this one is simply my story of meeting, marrying and dealing with a narcissistic sociopath.

18 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi, I don’t know what to call you, is it Joanna? My name is Cheryle Tebor. I’m 51, live in Mobile, Alabama. I’m currently married to my second narcissistic husband, have three beautiful, amazing children and recently, went NO CONTACT.with my entire narcissistic FOO. It’s been about 18 months now. I’ve been married to my NH for 19 years and only in the past, I would say, 5.years has the light come on about what I’m dealing with. Hell, it took me nearly 50 years to see the truth about my family so I consider this, recognizing what ny NH is in only 15 years great progress,!
    I think I was groomed from a very young age to think everything was my fault and to accept a low level of respect and horrible treatment from people. Both my parents are narcissists, my NF is your standard, grandiose, intimidating, mean narc, combine that with years of narcotic abuse and now dementia, makes for a very scary, irrational person. My NM, on the other hand, is even more devious, more destructive, and way more evil being the Covert narcissist. It took me YEARS to figure her out. She had perfected the role of victim/martyr, the whole time she was playing this part she was causing the complete destruction of my FOO, particularly setting her sites on destroying me. The things she has done to only me out of her four children makes my skin crawl. She is a vicious, evil, woman and yet she has been able to hide her true nature from everyone. She teaches Sunday school, acts like the honest little church lady, the poor little old lady whose had to care for this ailing, mean old man for years, and to hear her tell it, is suffering from such a broken heart from the mean and hateful daughter SHE has done everything for. She CRAVES the spotlight and uses every single thing and person she can to gain pity and sympathy from anyone, even strangers!! She disgusts me like no other and I’m afraid if I ran into her today I would end up in jail for beating the hell out of her. I have two sisters who are also narcs, although different degrees of it. My older sister is a low level, attention who’re, who only cares about herself and really didn’t have any use for you if you can’t supply her with narc supply of some kind. She doesn’t go after you or try to destroy you, she just doesn’t care who does or if her need for attention harms you in any way. Then there is my youngest sister, full blown, malignant narcissistic sociopath. HATES me with a vengeance I will never understand. I’ve never done a single thing to cause her she pain, always took care of both get and her now grown son, like he was mine. She had always treated me like SHIT but I either couldn’t or didn’t want to see it because I felt so bad for her because she was the scapegoat all our lives and especially my NF’s target for abuse. I, however, was “daddy’s little girl”. He beat the holy hell out of everyone but, for reasons I’ll never understand, never laid a finger on me. I’m the middle child, the caretaker, the fixer of all woes. I figured out my father’s moods very early and knew what to do and what not to do, to be safe. Growing up in this Kind of dysfunctional home, where one parent is a tyrant and nightmare and the other is so selfish and self absorbed that she did absolutely nothing to protect her children, to her, if my NF was abusing one of her children then he wasn’t bothering her, and that was just fine with her. Growing up in this environment, you learn to just survive, you do whatever it takes just to make it out of there. Well, I never knew that by me just trying to survive, I was creating so much hatred in my sister’s. Then, by living my life, not bothering anyone, I was creating resentment, envy and hatred. Now, I have become the scapegoat, instigated by my very own sisters that I can honestly tell you, I have never done a single mean, hurtful thing to, just the opposite, I’ve tried my best to always be there for them and loved them unconditionally, never once passing judgement on either of them for past or present mistakes. And never, not even once, have I been the source of any pain in their lives. Both my parents have done terrible things to both of them, yet, somehow, now, I am the evil one and my parents are staunchly supported by both my sisters and I have been ostracized by all of them. The betrayal of the family I cared for so deeply, with all their flaws, coupled with a NH who was like a vulture, waiting to rip me apart on top of my family,.had nearly destroyed me. First, with a depression setting over me like a suffocating black cloud, and now, like a cancer of hate, eating away at my heart and soul to where I don’t even recognize myself any more. My heart feels like stone, I am unable to feel any love or joy whatsoever, I don’t want to ever be around anyone, not even the children I loved do dearly, and I do everything I my power to cause as much pain in my husband as I can. I feel like an empty shell. I’m so full of hate and anger that there is no room for anything else. All I ever think about is what all these narcs, I forgot to include my NH family, ALL of them! , Have done to me and go over and over every little detail and how could I have not seen all the stuff they were doing all along!! I’m so stupid and such a dumb ass fool. I can’t believe I didn’t see it all along and when I think about all the times I thought everything was my fault and all the degrading things I did to prove my worthiness and now I tried so hard to be “kind and loving and forgiving” while they were all laughing at my stupidity, it just makes me cringe! I no longer have a life, I merely exist. How does one person end up so alone, having been used and abused and betrayed by every single person they loved and cared for? I must truly be a vile being for everyone in my life to hate me so much that they would all join forces to make me see just how unlovable I am. I have no one left. Most days I just wish I would cease to exist anymore, the others, I just go through the motions, adding to the bricks around my heart, refusing to ever feel or care for another person again. Till it’s all finally over and I can finally get relief from this pain. I wish I knew what I did too make so many people want me dead, but really, just are happy with making me wish I was dead

    • You are not alone and there is NOTHING wrong with you..Your story sounds just like mine.. all my family, (except my mother), my husband, including his family treated me the same way. I am almost 57 and I just figured out in 2013 what kind of evil people that I put up with for years..I have 2 facebook pages about this. One is about my family,his family and others that were like this..https://www.facebook.com/pages/Toxic-People/695676697184550?ref=hl

      The other page is all about the man I married who treated me the same way. A bonus was I found out he was screwing many women while we were married for 11 years..gave him another chance then found out not much changed after staying for 11 more years..so thats 22 years I was blind and stupid..which leads to my other facebook page..https://www.facebook.com/pages/What-Contest-in-HELL-did-I-win-I-married-a-ManSlut/712143398860040?ref=hl

      I am writing a book about all of this evil I put up with. I have those same feeling today, or lack of feelings and I still do not know how to be happy again after being betrayed by so many people who were supposed to love me. I want you to know that you are not alone in this and not one damn bit of this is your fault. This experience will make you wiser because you will be able to spot someone like this a mile away after going through it. Sadly there are two types of people in this world..one kind is the decent ones like us..the other kind is like the people who treated us badly..
      What has helped me the most is cutting off my entire family, his included. I don’t see, or go around them at all since 2013. I have boundaries that no one can cross..period. I didnt have any before so this might explain why so many people treated me the way they did. I was to nice and I let everyone walk all over me.. I allowed it to happen then. I am bettering myself by getting in a position to support myself too. I’m also going to move out of state the first of the year to get away from all the bad memories so I can start fresh. You have to decide that you are gonna take care of yourself and be happy. I no longer care what any of them think about me, or if they love me, or even if they are still alive..I know that you never go back to who or what hurt you. I hope this helps you see that you are not walking down this road alone and your never to old to start over. I’m doing it now.

      • Judy, I just now saw your reply to a post I made in may of 2015. I wanted to sincerely thank you for your kind words and encouragement! Knowing there are others out there who really “get it” helps me so much. Not that o want anyone else to go through what I’ve been through, but you understand.
        I also wanted to give you an update. It’s been three years not since going no contact with my entire family. Sometime in June of the same year I wrote that first post something clicked inside me. Today, my life has done a 360°! I am happier than I could have ever imagined I could be. I did just what you said, put those immovable boundaries down and grew a backbone. Now, for the first time in my life, NOBODY messes with me. I no longer give a damn about what those narcs think about me and could care less who likes me and who doesn’t. Even my narc husband has changed completely! I finally got help from a therapist and Dr who put me on two medications to deal with my severe depression. My therapist opened my eyes to my co dependant ways. Once I could see how I was contributing to my own demise things changed very fast. Now, the only regret I have is that I didn’t do so this sooner. I thought losing my family would kill me. Actually, it was THE best thing that has ever happened to me. Today, I can feel the love for my children again, I can feel joy in every day this, my marriage is stronger than ever and I have a peace that I never ever knew was possible. Sites like this one and others have helped me tremendously! I wake up every day now looking forward to what’s going to happen! Thank you again for your inspiring words!

    • you parents are super dysfunctional, and your sisters are too. With you deciding to get healthy, well, it will make the evil come out more.

      you don’t owe them a thing, no apologies or even ask “why”, who cares. They don’t care about your feelings, so don’t care about them. It’s time for you to draw the line, and either move away as far away or just make a point to disengage, and not let them mess with your peace.

      God is the ONLY one that can help you deal with this ugliness. The real evil is the devil in your parents and sisters. Pray for them and pray for yourself that God will be a light to your feet and a lamp to your feet, and to protect you from their flaming arrows.

    • Cheryle,
      I can not believe in reading your story, it is literally word for word, what I have been going through with my family, the exact same dynamic, the same two sisters who harbor resentment while I tried surviving on my own, the same narcissistic father and mother, the exact same….I never thought anyone would ever understanding what I am experiencing, and recently have found much comfort on learning about narcissistic abuse, and listening to videos from people who have really been out there, talking about this…and when I hear people talking about it, my heart feels the relief, its yearned for, my entire life…thank you for sharing your story, it is painful to feel that your love is not received by people that you love in the beginning of life…and it feels lonely that feeling of feeling ‘left’ in the ‘aftermath’ of the reality of the dynamic…I listen to my heart now, above all things, and find that this is a real healer, for when your heart is trampled on so much by narcissistic people, listening to your heart after you disengage with narcissistic abuse is imperative for healing, for its what the heart truly wants in the first place, to feel heard, validated, understood…something narcissistic abusers are incapable of providing

    • Cheryle, I know it’s been a while since your first post, but I only just came across it and I have to say, I completely understand. I have spent the last twelve months (in my 47th year) going through the “discovery” phase. It has been extremely painful, but a year on I’m starting to get a handle on my life. Prior to this I found myself in a spiritual community and I discovered the God of my understanding, and it is that which I turn to as my sustenance and support. Without that inner sense of Love, I’m not sure how I would have been able to take this road to recovery.

      Before I even knew narcissistic abuse was a thing, I had instinctively gone semi-no contact with my parents four years ago, at the time my marriage was crumbling. I realized I needed emotional support and I was not getting it from them, but rather more pain any time I tried to reach for them. Finally I realized that what I need more than anything was never ever going to come from my mom or dad but that, in fact, I would feel worse any time we had contact. For my sanity, I let them know that I would only be available to communicate in writing “for a while” as I go into recovery from my marriage. I didn’t tell them why or how long. Naturally my mom reacted in her sick ways and has been systematically poisoning the minds of anyone who will listen to her about how evil and bad I am. Evil and bad, because I chose not to communicate on the phone. I am still coming to terms with my childhood, and my adulthood under her sick influence. I am still learning to recognize the behaviors as what they are – mental illness – and that they have nothing to do with anything I did; that her behaviors have nothing to do with my worth or goodness as a person. In fact, I tried to maintain some contact through electronic mail, but they refuse to use a computer. My sister was forwarding messages for me, but they refused to respond. Over the years I have been attacked by my sister and her daughter, and others in my family (although the only ones who have outright abused me to my face, are my sister and her daughter) and from what I’ve heard from trusted others in the family, my parents (mother especially), have gone on an all out attack of my character. I’ve noticed old friends, who may have been in contact with my parents, have all but dropped me. Family members who believe her lies, have attacked me too. So many lies, stories, opinions and attacks are shared about me, yet there is no truth, no actual material fact, to any of it. It’s really scary and weird to think this is happening. I’m just staying silent and allowing individuals to choose what they want. It hurts my heart deeply to know that I cannot control any of it; I cannot defend myself. I could try, but it would be madness to even give it any time or energy. And I’m learning that this reactive attack to me getting healthy is just a small piece of the puzzle. It’s how she operates. It’s how she has always operated. I get strong. I get a sense of myself. I start loving myself. I set a boundary. She goes into a frenzy of attack and rejection, and enlisting “flying monkeys” to back her up. It hurts really bad to finally be able to see how I became such a shell of myself throughout my childhood and continued to be in pain and confusion up until my 45th year. But I’m on the road to true recovery and I am grateful. Although my heart hurts, I have faith and hope that my life will only get better now that I understand what’s been happening, and that there are resources like this website to help me open my eyes and learn to really love and embrace my true self. Thanks for your courage and sharing. I wish you well.

      • Dee, I just read your reply to a post I made a few years ago. Wow! We could be the same person!
        I just want you to know I SO feel all your pain. I know that heartache too well of being attacked by your sister and mother, the lies. Smear campaigns, not being able to do a DAMN thing about it because then it Judy makes you look even worse!
        Just keep doing what you’re doing. Stay silent. I consider them helping me with all their lies. Because anyone who knows me but who would decide to believe any of their nonsense, I don’t want it need in my life anyway. They are just weeding out the people in my life that are no good for me anyway.
        I was 49 years old when I made the discovery about my mother and my family turned me into their scapegoat. My father has since passed away just this year and thank goodness I went to the hospital when no one else was there and we made our peace. Now, I could care less about any of them. Of course, his death brought them all out of the woodwork and all the insults and blame came flying with it because I did not go to his funeral. I figure, they are going to use me as their verbal punching bag forever. I may as well be happy with myself. You do the same thing. I just look at it like this; why am I wasting so much time and energy on trying to get the approval of these sick twisted evil people that, had I not been born into this “family” I wouldn’t want anything to do with any of them ever! I can’t stand anything about any of them! They are strangers to me. I’m GLAD I’m different. I’m glad I’m nothing like them! And there is nothing in this world that I’ll ever be able to say or do that will ever be enough to make them happy so instead, I make me happy today.
        Do EXACTLY what makes YOU HAPPY and ALWAYS remember, NONE of any of this is because of you! You are only necessary in their eyes to be the “problem” so THEY don’t have to look at themselves. So sad, but so true. The truth: the scapegoats are the healthiest, kindest, most honest, most loving member of every dysfunctional family. They know it and they can’t stand it!!
        Be proud you’re a scapegoat!!

  2. Joanna, I am reading your experiences and I feel your words and thoughts are flowing out of my head. Do you have hard or soft cover books or only kindle? I also want to know about support groups. Is it only on-line? I am in NYC please let me know. Thank you. Can we go out dinner and talk, or can I cook for you and talk forever. I know it sounds silly but I hold so much inside because unless you’ve been there you can’t possible understand.

  3. Isn’t one of the biggest iseuss with NPD the fact that it is usually a comorbid disorder? A personal experience I have had was with an individual with NPD and Borderline Personality. It seems that it would be difficult enough for one with narcissistic tendencies to admit it, let alone dealing with another disorder that furthers the idea that problems must be the fault of others.

  4. Hi, I too have been in a narcissistic relationship for decade’s. I have the same struggles as you with Christians as well. But that aside one reason they tell you to get out is that you can NEVER win and I had been giving this alot of thought before I found your site. I absolutely do believe without a shadow of a doubt they are getting help from Satan. I have been doing research on this along while and there are just too many coincidences in my story as well as countless others. I am about as knowledgeable Christian as they come if you would ever like to compare notes feel free to contact me. My best, Debra

  5. Cheryle, your first post profoundly resonated with me. It validated my experiences. The blanket of depression that envelops everything is a reality. The trauma of being ostracized by your FOO coupled with existing in residence with a NH is traumatic at best. I only recently started to put the pieces together but my faith in God gives me high hopes. Your recovery post and the post by savannagh are such an encouragement to me. I feel like I’m grieving the loss of my FOO. There are six of us, five girls and a boy. I’m the fourth daughter. The classic middle child, survivor, supporter of all, etc. I always thought we were close, tight-knit although troubled because of some of my mother’s ways. I’m 50 now and at a complete loss of who I am in relation to all these people that I thought I had a valuable life-long connection to. The indifference has been there for some years but I’ve never required a lot of special attention so I didnt really notice what an outcast I was until I decided to get married at 42. This was the catalyst that made all of the ill intentions and resentments obvious. My decision to go back to school and graduate seemed to make things worse. Having a NH adds to the distress. I pray that I can walk through this in faith like Joseph did when his brothers turned against him. It truly is evil as several posts have stated. The stories shared here inspire me to keep moving forward. I thank you ladies so very much!

  6. Oh Cheryl Sweetheart, you poor little pet. My heart just bleeds for you. You’re definitely not alone and we are all here for you to love and support you. We all understand you because we’ve all been there. Oh I have suffered the most horrendous abuse from my family and relatives. Two of my cousins support me because they know what my now deceased nparents were like. And no, you are not a vile, unlovable person at all. That’s what your abusers want you to think. I had my abusers especially at church tell me that. It’s all just a pack of lies because that’s all narcissist are. Just malicious, evil liars without one good quality. They hate us because we speak the truth and we won’t wear their bullshit. Just stick to your principles Lovey. And remember that we all love you from here.

    • Evie, oh my! I am just now seeing all the replies to my original post and even though it was over 2 years ago, the pain still resonates and the kind words are still so soothing! I don’t think anyone can truly understand what it feels like to be abused by a narcissist unless you have been there. You can’t even really describe it. It’s just all consuming. It takes years and so much work on ones self to really really heal. I’m on that road to healing now. I rarely, if ever, concern myself with my wretched family, if they can even be called that,a “family”. What a joke!
      I just wanted to take a moment to really say thank you, you have no idea how your kind words helped.

  7. Hello

    Do you feel narcissist deserve any sympathy?
    Is there any hope for them ?
    Aren’t they victims of this mental illness ?

    • Hi there, I am not a professional but I have read and listened to talk, and I have been a victim of narcissistic abuse. What I know is that unless a narcissist wants to get help, they cannot be helped, and it is very unlikely they will seek help or change.

      Sympathy? Yes, but I think it is more appropriate to have compassion, which allows us to care while remaining unattached. Yes, one can have compassion for the narcissist, just as one can find compassion for anyone who has caused pain in another. However, one has to be careful not to believe this is more important than one’s own healing, and to bypass the deep work that is needed for the victim to feel fully recovered and no longer at risk. Sometimes it is difficult to get to authentic compassion until one has moved through the process of grieving and healing. If I’m not feeling compassion for the narcissist, that’s okay. My goal is to recover and build resilience for myself. When I feel emotionally safe enough, compassion will come. If I’m not feeling it right now, THAT’S OKAY. If I never feel it, that’s okay too. Because this isn’t about me caring for them any more, because that’s how I got into trouble in the first place. Now, it’s about me caring for me.

      What I’m getting at here is that I have to be mindful to not hurt myself further by telling myself I’m bad, wrong, or unsympathetic if I haven’t yet come to compassion for the narcissist. Blaming myself for not having compassion for my abuser is not helpful. I don’t expect anyone in this forum to speak with compassion. We’re all on a healing journey and we all know very well how to be kind and compassionate. Our healing journey isn’t so much about this, as it is seeing and dealing with things exactly as they are.

      Sympathy is good. But more important is me being kind and gentle to myself. If that looks like lack of sympathy for the narcissist, that’s okay.

      Well, that’s my two cents worth…

  8. Hi,

    I am glad I found this website. My experience has been dealing with a narcissistic mother. For the first time in my life I walked out of my mother’s house after one of her rages, and haven’t called her in 6 months. I feel free from the bondage I felt all my life; I am 61 years old. What I know for sure is that God is making me a stronger person on the inside, toughening me up, and not caring what my family of origin says or thinks of me. With the time I have left on this earth (I have a chronic illness), I want to move forward. I would love to join a support group of some kind for people dealing with narcissistic parents. If you know of any, I live in Southern California. God Bless you and thank for your courage to write and help others.

Leave a Reply to Cheryle L Tebor Cancel reply