The Importance of Journaling

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#1 Mar 3 - 1PM
cassiemay's picture

The Importance of Journaling

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to share something with you all that has been immensely helpful for me personally in trying (still!) to come to grips with all that has happened between my N and myself. I started keeping a journal about 3 years ago when things really started going downhill. I would write down what happened and always post the date (important!), and of course my feelings about the event or interaction. As I did it it provided a realease of sorts for my emotions, but more importantly, as time has passed I often go back and re-read my entries. It absolutely amazes me how helpful that has been because you begin to really see and remember the patterns. There are things I had completely forgotten about that as I reflect back from reading help me to get a sense of the "bigger picture". This is especially helpful to me when I start entertaining thoughts about wanting him back. It helps me realize that such a choice would be CRAZY.

Thanks, CM

Dec 4 - 4PM
EiPuff (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


I have an electronic journal - easier for me to type than write - found entry from Dec 27, 2009 - same old story and a shock to see I've been miserable for that long. ugh
Sep 4 - 10PM
iAmMINE's picture

So, I totally kept scrolling past this idea

of journaling; But just like Spirit, the phrase kept coming to me, over and over while driving down the road. While having a slow moment at work where I could actually think, and after a thought I would hear in my mind (spirit) "that would BE great journaling material" ;) While in a store it would not fail that my path in the store would take me right past the... drum roll please... Journals! Even stopping at a yard sale what did I find??... yup, you guessed it, a journal. So... I bought one. :) Nothing fancy, but appropriate for this new journey I find myself on. Healing. It has two parts. When I open up to the "front" it will contain the "ups" of my healing. Ground I am gaining. New thoughts I am thinking, new feelings I am feeling... When I turn it around and upside down writing upside down from the back... it will have all the reminders (personal, not just the generalizations I have read and learned about) but what I actually experienced with that effin' jerk! Something about losing some sweet family and friends has helped me to tap into and embrace the anger of grieving... Here we go... 'Journal, Vol I'...

~~~ Keep Learning & Keep Healing ~~~

~~~~~ The best revenge is to survive and be victorious over it. Nobody can take from you what you don't give them.

Aug 7 - 7PM
anonymous's picture

More on journaling & poetry

I posted this snippet this morning in another thread but wanted to post it here too since it's pertinent to journaling. I've been keeping a journal in a cheap 1-subject spiral-bound notebook since 5 months after the D&D occurred. It's now been 4 months since I've started the journal. I not only recorded my thoughts, including my poetry, but also quotes from both self-help books and novels I've read in which characters either suffer from N abuse or are Ns. I've filled up the notebook. So I've spent the last week typing exactly what I've written into a word processing program with no edits. This exercise, while tedious, has been extremely helpful. I've learned and healed more in the 4 months that I've kept the journal than I did in the 5 months immediately after the D&D. I felt completly rudderless then but now, with my journal, I feel like I have a direction. Then, typing what I wrote has made me see so many things and has helped really reinforce all that I've learned not only about NPD and Bi-P, but more importantly about myself and what I want to get out of my life. For months I lived with the constant hope that despite my establishing NC, he would contact me and ask me back. Now I'm to the point where I'm fearful of that. Because I am not completely over him but am very clear about what I want for my future and I know he'd impede that. So now rather than longing for him to contact me, I hope that he does not. I don't think I would have made it this far without that journal. As for poetry - here are some short pieces that I've written ... Several of them contain direct quotes from him and show (at least for me) pretty clearly excellent examples of Mind F'ing. Lamb: I used to believe you were an inspiration. How far you've fallen down into an abyss of my discarded flesh and tears and the sh!t you left behind. Your downfall was of your own doing. And I hope you're happy with your sacrifice. Advice: You presumed it was wanted. You presumed it was good. You implied it was helpful. And in your arrogance, you gave it. Even after causing gulping pain. You are not god. You are not wise. You are not entitled. You are not my friend. And, post script … Your advice sucks. Crystal: Moment of clarity. Otherwise known as an excuse for manipulation lies and emotional blackmail. You are an a$$hole. Is that clear? Pals: "This is not about rejection of you as a woman. This is about me rejecting being with a mother." So, "Let's be best friends! :)" We can hang out and be buddies. Because you no longer count as a woman. I'm doing you a favor by rejecting you, Oh buddy, oh pal. In 6 Days: Sunday "You've awoken feelings in me I wasn't sure I'd feel again. And they've consistently surpassed anything I've felt before. The sex is phenomenal. The best I've had …" Saturday Therefore, "I am simply not interested in investing further in an intimate relationship with you."
Jul 19 - 1AM
NancyM's picture


I managed to escape two Ns in the past, and I was always a prolific writer, especially in my darkest hours. Writing for me probably saved my sanity now that I look back on it all. I was always into poetry, and I found my favorite poets were people that suffered from great depression and their own demons throughout their lives I always think that was why they were able to write such amazing poetry, as a way of battling their demons. The first poem was written when I was about 24, the second at 34. I still have not written the one that will sum up this last round, but I hope it will be an improvement of finally coming out the other side. DON’T TELL Don’t tell because who would believe It could have been so bad? They will think you’re trying to deceive Or that you are quite mad! Don’t tell because they may believe, And may make a judgement call. So much worse if they conceive That you deserved it all? Don’t tell because you’ll give away The weapons that they’ll need. Surrender fears with what you say, They’ll know how to make you bleed! Don’t tell because it will make you cry And you’ll still give yourself the blame. How can you look them in the eye If you hang your head in shame? Don’t tell cos it was that final stroke That pays you back twofold. It wasn’t just your heart he broke It’s how he crushed your soul. Don’t tell and they will never know Your strength is just a lie, That your grief is hidden far below, Never let them see you cry. Don’t tell, you’ve not the strength or will It’s enough that your alive! It’s the fear that often gets you killed, The rage helps you survive! Don’t tell, no one wants to know You’ve already been to hell. It’s a place again you will never go, You won’t get caught if you don’t tell! Nancy M 1993 Live Again (Circa 2002) I’m running from the life I live To find where my heart has gone. Having had too much to give I’ve lost more than I’ve won. Uprooted the tree is dying And faith has all been slain I’ve come home and I’m trying To find myself again. Here the track is faded, broken Obscured, overgrown, astray. Dust devils swirl hot and choking But I can find the way. I have a need to be out there And let life’s pressures wane. No if’s, no why’s, no when or where, Just feel alive again. As the sun slips from a heavy sky Smeared by the blood of roses; “Do you remember me?” I cry “Or know the trials my life imposes? I’m lost now, I can’t manage, I don’t know who I am! Please help me find the courage That I may live again” Stars on an eternal sky smashed wide It’s too long since I’ve seen. Filling the darkened void inside, Too long away I’ve been. Campfire draws me to the burn I feel my fears drain My soul is crying out it’s yearn To feel alive again. Swept inside the dying flames Our spirits there entwine. We are one, we become the same, The land, the sky and mine. Wrapped within the old and wise Protected from all pain. Together we await the sun to rise And to feel alive again. I sense the nomads wandering still, The keepers of the dawn. And barefoot on a ragged hill I watch the sun return. There’s a whisper humming through my feet Says “I know you I feel your pain” I release my heart and soul to weep, I shall feel life again. I let the demons run their course And I rage for those defiled. I strip the chains of my remorse To find the heartsick child. I staunch the flow of angers’ blood To stop the spreading stain. These demons, I must face the flood To feel alive again. A vibration is humming quietly In rhythm through my feet. The wind is caressing lightly And fills my soul complete The pain and fear is finally leaving I know exactly who I am. And I finally am believing I’m feeling life again. Upon the wind, arms imploring, I let my demons go. They’re twisting, turning, screeching, clawing Cos no one has to know. The fear is gone and now I mourn My loss for fear of gain. The wall will fall on this new dawn I will feel alive again. Here I do not feel the loneliness Of unrequited love. I do not feel the hopelessness Of the endless push and shove. My confusion has but flown away Where sky meets distant plain. And I hear my spirit softly say “I am alive again!”


Jun 21 - 11AM
sarahb's picture

Ode to a Narcissist

Lisa suggested I repost this here - this is what I wrote about a relationship that ended 15 years ago, when I had no idea there was such a thing as Narcissistic Personality Disorder! But, boy, he sure fits the profile - he was not uniquely crazy, like I thought then, just a Narcissist! (As noted in my other post, I thank my lucky stars often that he broke up with me and I got out of marrying him. I married a great person instead - an actual human being!...I hear the N is still looking for that perfect person...) Our lives together Were one long, drawn out, never ending Self improvement course for me. From the beginning you were oh so unhappy and grumpy Unloved, put upon, forced to be in power and "caretake" But the irony is that YOU forced it to be that way. You offered me NO support NO affirmation NO love Just advice on how to be someone else to win your love. You cannot live, you cannot breathe Without your pretense of power. You truly cannot love And the love of others, their vulnerability, Disgusts you. It means you are responsible for that loving person (in your warped mind). It is frustrating, your inability to see my strength. I resent your version of me, your version of the relationship. After grabbing all the power by being mean and critical By never letting me feel at ease By constantly judging You ironically say you cannot be with a weak person like me. But think about it I put up with you for 6 years, your insanity, your criticism, your unloving nature. I think that makes me pretty f&%ing strong. Good luck on your stupid pathetic rebound relationship With the new "perfect" person Oh yes, I am sure that she's all that I am not Completely utterly independent; A sexual wonder; never shy or unsure or vulnerable; never emotional or hurt; never ever has any problems; Doesn't ask anything of you; is unfazed by any nastiness you exhibit, in fact, loves you all the more for being such a strong, nasty, independent guy. Worships you. Yet hates you. Asks for no intimacy. Complete utter detachment. What a crock of shit. Good luck you stupid pathetic f*&khead.
Mar 23 - 3PM
Janet's picture


I didn't know how helpful it would be for my recovery to save all of our "romantic emails and chats". I have four years of solid evidence of his and MY behavior. Two months into the relationship I was saying that it felt like it was all about him and his interests. hmmmmmmmmmm Peace. J

Peace. J

Apr 8 - 7PM (Reply to #22)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

their roadmap of mind control

exNH hacked everything between me and Psycho-Boy. Looking at them now, the mind control, NLP and seductive hypnosis is BLATANT! ~~~~~~~~~ Repetition does not transform a lie into the truth. - Franklin D. Roosevelt Coaching for Victims of Pathologicals
Mar 7 - 8PM
lili124's picture


Thanks CM for that post. I also journaled for the last three years and it has been helpful for me to go back and see all of the patterns that I overlooked.
Nov 18 - 5AM
grossot's picture


Peace You took a piece of me When we first exchanged a glance You took a piece of me when I first gave you a chance You took a piece of me Crying and capturing me Melting my heart Heavily and silently You took a piece of me When you became cold You took a piece of me With abuse that can’t be told You took a piece of me With the words you spoke to others With your uncanny wit And the way in which you smother You took a piece of my Little girl; she’s confused, And lost and scared You cannot see it; how could you You would have to have a heart That isn’t completely bare Once again it’s all about You Anyone else would feel shame But no, not you You just take a piece of me With your mind games; shifting blame I hate to have to tell you But I’ve taken back the PEACE Most of the pieces you will Forever keep However, I feel it is important For PEACE to come back to me What I’m taking back won’t Cost you any money So I’ll be taking back, dear Just this little PEACE I’m sure you will not care It’s well with my reach nolongercontrolled
Feb 14 - 6PM (Reply to #19)
narcsurvivor's picture

That is a good poem.

That is a good poem.
Jul 30 - 1AM
faithful (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

journaling--the need for an emotional outlet

I did not journal in detail but kept a log. Interestingly, most of the time I was unable to write many thoughts due to my hands shaking from the emotion of my experience. I have decided now that it was a Godsend. It would be very painful to relive details of the trauma... even in the future. I did see that keeping at least dates and some records revealed a pattern and gave credibility to my story for others. I have chosen to leave those memories behind... that is the best way for me to heal. I do believe that having an emotional outlet (journaling, counselling, praying,) for the tension and stress is therapeutic. I encourage anyone still in a relationship with this illness to have that outlet.
May 12 - 6AM (Reply to #16)
helldweller's picture

Journaling and Praying

I just started writing down what I want to say to him instead of actually saying it to him. I used to text him pages and pages of weepy and angry and pleading text, not realizing that he was probably masturbating and/or laughing while reading them all. Now I get to write it--and read it over and over--but he doesn't get the satisfaction of seeing or hearing any of it. Last night I taped the slogan "Starve the Vampire" up on my front door. The vampire lives two doors down from me, and his favorite tactic is to "happen upon" me outside and start a fight, make me feel like garbage, or touch me, so I've been practicing my disengaged smiling and also planning, for once in four years, to AVOID him instead of planning to run into him.
May 13 - 5PM (Reply to #17)
neveragain5's picture

Good for you, helldweller!

Good for you, helldweller! It truly helps and is empowering. The fact that you have to live so close is a challenge and you sound so strong! :)
Jul 30 - 5PM (Reply to #14)
James (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

It's not in the details

I too notice how sometimes my journal reads more like a log sometimes. I can understand how emotional it gets whenever we try to put it into black and white. While journalism and/or logging it help me in a way rid myself of it if just for awhile. But I too can remember pounding on my key board many of times and late into the night. Thanks for sharing faithful.
Aug 27 - 5PM (Reply to #15)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

writing as a way of healing ~~~~~~~~~~~~ CLICK HERE: Articles & information for Narc Victims - Updated Daily "As soon as you feel that crazy sense of walking on eggshells, fending off N-rage, stop. Walk away." - Dr. M. B
Jul 24 - 12AM
Debra (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Yes, absolutely..

When you write it down and then read it back the truth becomes apparent. Journaling has allowed me to examine the experience with N objectively. You are 100% correct. Wanting them back would be nuts..
Jul 15 - 3PM
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

the importance of journaling

by (the late) Kathy Krajco A little serendipity that may benefit some of you. As you know, I am a tennis pro and freelance editor. One thing I do to keep up with the latest news about the pro tennis scene for my blog is read Peter Bodo's blog. The other day he mentioned something that I already knew so well I take it for granted, as if everyone knows it. But why should everyone know it? Because not everyone is a writer - of a blog or opinion pieces or essays. When my editor James Martin came to me and asked how I felt about writing an essay highlighting what I felt the new generation of young 'uns could learn from past champions, I answered, "sure." Of course I had no idea where I would go with that, and this is one of the great pleasures of writing an essay. One of the reasons I've stubbornly continued to be a writer is because writing about something is the best way I know to figure out how I really feel about it, and I'm the sort of person who always likes to be able to say why he likes - or dislikes - something. I don't know, just because I like it, just doesn't cut it. And trying to write clearly and logically tends to be a pretty good check on prejudice and preconception; it's amazing how often I'll write a few sentences and then realize that they don't really stand up to close scrutiny. It may seem strange for a writer of commentary and opinion to put it this way, because I imagine the popular assumption is that I have my ideas and theories, and then try to articulate and justify them in prose. That happens, sometimes. But most of the time, writing is a journey of discovery. I finish a story, or post, or scene in a novel and realize it went somewhere entirely different from where I vaguely expected it to go. Exactly. I used to say that writing is thinking. It not only helps you get in touch with your feelings and explore a topic, but that white sheet of paper leaves no place for prejudice, denial, anti-logic, half-truth, or any other form of sloppy thinking to hide. I don't know for sure, but I think this is why some authorities suggest that the victims of abuse journal. When you do, you go through the process that Bodo is talking about. I have but one bit of advice to add. Remember that journaling is private writing. Like a diary. It is as sacrosanct as the privacy of the mind. It has no audience. You need that privacy to have the freedom to be brutally honest. If you journal in pain, you may feel like shouting your words from the highest mountain top, but a few years later, you'll be glad you kept these thoughts to yourself. You may even delete them. That's okay. You've forgotten your other thoughts from that long ago too. But you will have achieved a clarity and understanding that will benefit you for the rest of your life. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Articles & information for abuse victims - Updated Daily Online Coaching for Victims of Narcissists/ Psychopaths
Mar 3 - 5PM
Lisa E. Scott
Lisa E. Scott's picture

Writing is healing

Dear CassieMay, As usual,you make such a good point. Journaling is extremely helpful. Not only is it healing to get your feelings out by writing them down, but you can look back and remind yourself of his actions. Believe me, you will need to do this, especially if you are just in the process of ending it with a narcissist. Narcissists are extremely charming and convincing. They are intelligent and will find ways to make you second-guess yourself even after you leave them. I know I entertained the idea of going back to him several times after our separation. Instead of doing this, I looked back at what I had written down...things he had said to me or done that were horribly cruel. This stopped me from responding to him or entertaining any ideas that I should take him back. Write it down so you can refer to it in times of need! You'll be glad you did! Best, Lisa
Jul 1 - 9AM (Reply to #2)
Ma_Fury (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

If you are not keeping a journal I suggest u start

It is great I have done the same thing. I knew what I was dealing with, but was out of control. It helped me sort my thoughts at the time. Now I use it as a reminder as well. EVEN more IMPORTANT.....I had to press charges because he hit me. By having a record with dates I was able to provide information that I know I would not have remembered otherwise. He had threatened me previously and I had the dates written down, in addition to numerous other physical and verbal incidents. I had no idea I would need this someday!!!
Jul 3 - 1AM (Reply to #3)
James (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


Journaling is extremely important whenever we feel emotionally and/or psychologically burden. The old saying the pen is mightier then the sword holds great truth here. Whenever we journal or keep a daily tab by documenting information about our self and others it allow us to review reflect and revaluate it at a later time in our busy life’s. Personally speaking journaling helped me keep control over my sanity and emotions. When at this time in my personal life things were spinning out of control, journaling help me think that I had some control if only though my writing. Now if we added the extra emotional and psychological burden of being involved with someone acting completely out of character when going though something one might experience with someone that show strong traits of suffering from a personality disorder. Journaling can and would be of great help in trying to understand some of the “crazy making” emotional negative manipulation and deep emotional pain you are feeling at that time. Whenever journaling because you visit some new distance country to refresh your memory at a later time for the pure enjoyment of this experience. Journaling when going through emotional turmoil can too jump start these emotions allowing one to relive them in a way and then possibly make sense of something that at the time made no sense to you at all.. How important was journaling to me? Well, let’s just say it save my sanity in the mists of insanity. To view my personal journal I invite readers to my personal blog site: So to all those journalist out there and on the web. I do hope you keep writing for you may never know what knowledge and insight one will find in their writing.
Nov 2 - 1PM (Reply to #4)
Selena12 (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


I'm new here but I would suggest caution with blogging. My xN and his buddies track me down on the internet and so even what I write at this site is susceptible to their spying eyes. Apart from this I think it's hurtful for an N to have access to what I think. I've been anger out for a while - guess I'm human too, but I wish for him to have the courage to find help for his problem - and his being able to see my thoughts on the problem only enables his problem - as it gives him more attention. I see it as a form of NS. So I keep a log - but on paper, not the net. It seems anything I say in my defense he reacts with anger and this anger has manifested itself in ugly harassment. In my log I tag information from the past - putting dates and events together - as a form of evidence or testimonial to what has happened and to counter his constant lies. I also keep track of harassment that has gone on the net - sometimes it's harsh and undeserved criticism, other times it's love messages (a trick - when I give in he only becomes arrogant with me and insults me). It's very hard to shake my sense of reality, but keeping a log and letting close friends in on what is happening is good to maintain that firm grasp on what is really going on and to keep from having an N distort that.
Nov 25 - 10PM (Reply to #9)
Barbara (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Trauma & the Benefits of Writing

By Art Markman, Ph.D. Psychological trauma is bad for your health. The stress of abuse, violence, or the unexpected death of a loved one can cause all sorts of health problems. People suffering after these events may stop working effectively in school or at their jobs. They may lash out at friends, family, and coworkers. They may experience significant illnesses as stress depresses their immune systems. Why does psychological trauma have these long-lasting effects.? One reason for the stress of psychological trauma is that our representations of these traumatic events are fragmented. Psychologically traumatic events are ones that have no good explanation. The sudden death of a loved one may seem senseless. Abuse you suffer is a betrayal of a sacred trust. You have painful facts with no story to bind them together. Because these memories and events are painful, our natural tendency is to avoid thinking about them. We suppress thoughts about these negative events and hope they will go away. But, they don't. The mind is most settled when there is coherence to our thoughts. We seek to resolve conflicting thoughts by remembering them and processing them. So, a dangerous cycle can develop with traumatic events. Because they are fragmented, there are constant reminders of them. But, because they are painful, we do not process them deeply. And so, we suffer the stress of remembering a painful situation without resolving the incoherence. Research by my colleague Jamie Pennebaker and his colleagues suggests that one of the best therapies for this kind of psychological trauma is also one of the simplest: writing. He describes this procedure in a 1997 paper in Psychological Science. People are asked to spend three consecutive days writing about one or more traumatic events. They are encouraged to really explore the thoughts and emotions surrounding the event, and to tie it to relationships with significant others. In studies of this technique, people doing this writing are compared to others who write about unemotional topics like time management. As you might expect, writing about these emotional events was very difficult for people. They did not enjoy the experience, and they found it painful. However, the long-term effects of this writing were fascinating. If you followed the people in these studies over time, they reported fewer illnesses, they went to the doctor less often, and they suffered fewer symptoms of depression in the future. They were less likely to miss work and school, and their performance at work went up. These effects lasted for months and years after writing. What is particularly interesting about this procedure is that it is just an effect of writing about these events. The people doing the writing do not have to believe that anyone will ever read what they wrote. So, the benefit of writing is not in disclosing this personal information to someone else. The benefit is in creating a story that links together the emotional memories. Making these traumatic events more coherent makes memories of these events less likely to be repeatedly called to mind, and so they can be laid to rest. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off. - Gloria Steinem
Nov 26 - 6AM (Reply to #10)
grossot's picture


I love your new quote:-) I think I'm also going to get a shoe box and label it PSYCHOPATH and as I recall stories; jot them down and throw them in. On second thought, perhaps I should use a refrigerator box! nolongercontrolled
Nov 17 - 6PM (Reply to #5)
James (not verified)
Anonymous's picture


For sure one should always be careful whenever blogging or just writing on any forum. These are public places so use care and caution. But facts are facts and truth is truth. Like bones one can't ever bury them deep enough for sooner or later truth shines through and facts are uncovered no matter how many lies one tries to hide them with..
Jun 19 - 3PM (Reply to #6)
Lisa E. Scott
Lisa E. Scott's picture

The Power of Writing

by Louise deSalvo DeSalvo tells us that, “Writing that describes traumatic or distressing events in detail and how we felt about these events then and feel about then now is the only kind of writing about trauma that clinically has been associated with health.” A healing narrative is a balanced narrative. It uses negative words to describe emotions and feeling in moderation; but uses positive words too” It is the translation of emotions into language that does the trick. Although talking about our traumas also helps, it is harder to talk without someone to listen. In general, we have no such compunction about writing without a reader. In fact, believing no one will read it may make writing easier. To impact the immune system, it doesn’t matter whether anyone hears or reads the story, what the trauma was or how long ago. The effect is most measurable, however, when the event hasn’t been talked about. The miraculous connection between writing and the immune system results from cracking through inhibition. It seems that when we don’t speak the truth of our experience, we inhibit our emotions, and that inhibits our immune function. Keeping secrets and maintaining denial require physical energy, energy our bodies could use in healthier ways were it available. Not only does inhibition have physiological consequences, it precludes translating our experience into language. And, it is through language that we organize our experiences into coherent stories making them smaller and easier to deal with.
Jun 21 - 3PM (Reply to #7)
narcsurvivor's picture

It's almost as if this

It's almost as if this (busy?) society doesn't allow for negative expression of any kind; we're labeled as complainers and negative people if we do state the negative. This is starting to bother me more and more. How can I keep everything inside? Oh yes, I know I'm supposed to look at the positive, but come on. And when you do try to tell someone something, unless they "get it", whether it's narcissism or anything else, they just downplay it or make you feel like you're over the top for talking this way. And yet, more than once, I've seen those very people contradict themselves later without even knowing it. Completely frustrating.
Jun 24 - 6PM (Reply to #8)
PumpKyn80's picture

So true

I wrote a poem after being involved with an N for about 3 months. I even wrote it before I knew what an N was all about. Journaling is so important.