How does a narcissist treat you when you're sick?

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A common complaint among the difficult personality relationships is how a narcissist treats you when you’re sick.

Let’s be honest, when you’re in a tight relationship with someone, whether it be an intimate partner, parent or child, you kind of assume it’s “in sickness and in health,” right?

Nope, not when it comes to a narcissist.

How a narcissist treats you when you’re sick is through the only lens they’ve got, one of pure selfishness. In short, you can count on the fact that they won’t give a damn. Narcissists are extremely self-centred and ultimately, your sickness is your problem, not theirs.

How they actually treat you can range from ignoring you and bailing, to devaluing your sickness and any symptoms you might be experiencing. In some cases, they may even put on a public show of being the ‘perfect support person,’ just to gain supply from your sickness, without actually being there for you at all.

Let’s explore how a narcissist treats you when you’re sick, covering six common tactics they employ.

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How a Narcissist Treats You When You’re Sick

Narcissism, no support when you're sick

Narcissists won’t give you empathy when you’re sick

It was a hot summer’s day and my partner and I had planned to get stuck into the yard work. At some point throughout the morning though, I started to get some cramping in my lower abdomen. My period was due, but it was very late, which was unusual for me. So, I figured that’s what was causing the cramping.

Then the pain hit me hard and fast. I was lying on the bed with excruciating period pain, which was coming in waves, much like contractions. I’d had this pain in the past on some occasions, but never to this severity.

All I could do was lie there and breath my way through it. I was thinking, “I wish I’d had time to get a hot water bottle first.”

To be honest, I just didn’t feel right. I was wondering if it was possible for me to be having a very early pregnancy loss.

Then my partner came in to see where I was, because he’d already started in the yard. He saw me lying on the bed and I explained what was happening.

He reacted with such a complete lack of empathy and compassion, I was totally gobsmacked. “Fucking hell. You’ll do anything to get out of the yard work. No, you’re right, I’ll do all of the work,” then went back outside and left me lying there feeling ashamed and guilty as hell.

I can still remember being curled up on the bed, sobbing quietly. Between the waves of physical pain, I was feeling all of the emotional pain of a partner who literally could not care less about me. I was completely discarded in a time of need.

He’d made it abundantly clear that I would get nothing from him, so I definitely didn’t ask him to heat me a hot water bottle. Not to mention that I certainly couldn’t talk to him later about my concerns over possibly having a pregnancy.

Being in a relationship with a narcissist is an extremely lonely experience.

To this day I still don’t know if it was a pregnancy loss, or just a very intense period. Either way, I’m so damn grateful to have not brought another child into the world with a narcissistic father.

READ: When a Narc Sees You Crying →
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Narcissists will invalidate you when you’re sick

Narcissist Invalidation

An extremely common trait of how a narcissist treats you when you’re sick is to completely invalidate you.

Using the example above, not only did the narcissist show zero empathy, he totally invalidated my experience. The invalidation was executed by belittling me and twisting the situation around to throw me in the light of being ‘selfish’ for being in pain and not being outside helping him with the yard work.

Remember, everything must be about the narcissist, not you.

Common narcissistic invalidation terms:

“You’re such a sook.”

“Toughen up.”

“What’s your problem?”

“Get over it already.”

“If you weren’t so overweight/ unfit/ weak you wouldn’t be sick.”

“There’s always something wrong with you, isn’t there.”

READ: 99 More Gaslighting Terms
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Narcissists will disappear when you’re sick

How a narcissist treats you when you're sick

To a narcissist, you are merely a source of energy. Whether that comes in the form of validation (praise, laughing at their jokes and going along with their antics) or doing things for them.

If you’re sick, you literally serve no purpose to the narcissist. You’re basically a broken toy that gets thrown to the corner so that they can go find another exciting toy to play with.

Not to mention, how dare you take the focus off them! In other words, how dare you take your energetic supply away from them.

The narcissist will treat you with utter contempt if they do have to stick around and care for you. Honestly, you’re better off if they do disappear, as hurtful as that is.

Whenever I was sick, my partner would literally just disappear and leave me to my devices. He never offered help and he’d never come to check on me.

If the kids asked him for a drink, he’d get it for them, but offers of help with the household chores was never forthcoming. The place would be a mess until I was well enough again to pick up where I’d left off.

Another reason that a narcissist may disappear when you’re ill is because image is everything to them. If you being sick brings down how they look in their world or makes them look weak, they won’t want to have anything to do with you.

READ: 8 Reasons a Narc Ignores You →
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Narcissists will still expect you to wait on them, even when you’re sick

Servant to the Narcissist

Don’t be under any false illusions that just because you’re sick, you get the day off from being at the beck and call of the narcissist.

You must still wait on the narcissist hand and foot, even when you’re sick. After all, being sick is your inconvenience, not theirs. Why should that stop you from being their ever-loyal servant?

I’ve witnessed many times, in a family relationship between a codependent husband and narcissistic wife, where this exact scenario played out time and time again.

The covert narcissist forever had something ‘wrong’ with her, which consistently kept her in the victim role. The husband had completely been programmed to always ‘feel sorry for her’ and pander to her ailments. She had him running around after him like a servant. Heaven forbid he ever (even jokingly) questioned her, she would turn very vicious and just like that, he’d be back in line.

So, you can only imagine that when he was sick, the dynamics were so set it stone that the husband would still be the one running after the wife. The storyline had been painted so that her illness always superseded his, no matter what.

There was a very rare occasion where the husband was bed-bound and extremely unwell. During this time, the covert narcissistic wife was absolutely beside herself. Not because she genuinely cared for her husband’s health, but because she recognised how much she was set to lose if he wasn’t around anymore to be her servant.

Deep inside, she had extremely low self-worth and knew that without her husband, she’d be left with no supply. By that late stage in her life, it’d be much harder to find a replacement.

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Narcissists will use your illness to gain supply for themselves

Narcissism and sickness

On some occasions, how a narcissist treats you when you’re sick may appear to be caring… at least in the presence of other people. You see, if the narcissist can gain sympathy and energy from others due to your illness, they’ll soak it up like there’s no tomorrow!

The game here is that they need to appear to be the ‘loving support person’ of someone who’s suffering, so that people will either feel sorry for them, or peg them as a hero.

This may come in social media posts, which paint the narcissist as a champion for all that they do for you (even though you know that it’s false).

Example of a social media post where the narcissist can use your illness to their advantage:

“Sarah is back in hospital again.

I’m so exhausted between being there for her, as well as taking care of the kids, plus having to fit in work so that we can afford all of the medications.

But it’s all good, as long as Sarah gets better.”

Notice in the above example how the narc has made his sick partner’s hospital visit all about himself. There’s not even a mention of how the sick person is actually doing.

You can only imagine all of the comments of concern and validation they’ll get from their friends and family – “you’re doing such an amazing job, you’re such a superstar!”

Another way that narcissists use your sickness to their own advantage is by using it to get days off work. They’ll pour out the sob story to their boss and claim that they need to be at home to care for you (or to take care of the kids). You’ll find out soon enough that they really don’t do much at all in the way of caring for you, it was merely an excuse to take a ‘sickie’ for themselves.

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Narcissists will use your sickness to reinforce that they are the important ones, not you

How Do Narcissists Treat You When You're Sick? MEME

The dynamics in a narcissistic relationship dictate that the narcissist is really the only important one, therefore making everyone else much less important, or not important at all.

This is reinforced by gaslightning the other party in the relationship to basically make sure that they know their place and will comply with the narcissist. By squashing their victim’s self-worth, they are much less likely to rise up and call out the narcissist on their bullshit.

As you can imagine, implementing these tactics of devaluing and messing with one’s reality can be much easier when someone is sick, as they are already in a position of vulnerability.

Let’s take a look at the words my partner used at the top of this article, when I was lying on the bed in pain and he was angry and slighted that I wasn’t outside helping him in the backyard.

“You’ll do anything to get out of the yard work, won’t you. No, you’re right, I’ll do all of the work.”

Even in a moment of physical pain for me, my narcissistic ex was incapable of feeling a scrap of empathy. As far as he was concerned, the yard work needed to be done so that he could resume kicking back on the couch, but he didn’t actually want to have to do the work.

So, he used that moment of weakness to show that I was not worthy of his time, sympathy or attention. He was basically reinforcing that he was the most important person in the relationship and that I did not matter.

When the person who’s supposed to love you literally gives zero concern when you’re sick, that is not love.

However, when a narcissist is sick, that’s a completely different scenario. Have a read of the following article to see how a narcissist acts whey they’re the sick one.

READ: The Narc When THEY Are Sick →
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Healing From Narcissistic Abuse

Without effective healing, you risk being bound to the narcissist forever… but you are destined for so much more than that!

If you’ve tried everything to heal from narcissistic abuse, but just cannot seem to shift things, it’s probably time to call in the big guys.

You can certainly go down the therapy pathway, which is definitely helpful, but it can also be tediously slow. Or, you can choose to enlist the work of the spiritual realm with an accomplished medium, such as Selena Hill.

Without the help of Selena, I’d still be stuck with C-PTSD and deep trauma ruling my life.

“I can fully attribute my positive healing journey to my sessions with Selena Hill and all of the cosmic guides who joined us along the way!”
– Victoria (Unmasking the Narc)

Spiritual mentorship facilitates the connection between you and the divine, whatever that looks like for you. As a result, true healing can take place on an energetic level (both in the conscious and unconscious realms).

All you need to do is show up and say, “yes.” Your divine team will take care of the rest.

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✭ Ask questions & get direct answers

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If you’re ready to reclaim your life, heal & thrive, I highly recommend Selena Hill, “the telephone line between heaven and Earth.”

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